In the United States, there are stereotypes associated with drivers of certain types of cars.
For example, if you drive an air-cooled Volkswagen, people may assume you are a hippie. If you drive a BMW, people will assume you are both affluent and inconsiderate – the type of driver who would change lanes without signaling. And finally, if you drive a Honda Civic or other “tuner” car, you might be associated with street racing punks.
I have recently learned that such car/driver stereotypes are not unique to the U.S. In fact, there’s a popular one in Germany about Opel Manta drivers: that they are dull, lower-class, macho guys who drive aggressively, love their cars, and have a blonde girlfriend who works as a hairdresser.
General Motors is known as one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world. During its 105-year history, GM has built more than just cars and trucks. The company has also engaged in some projects which are, for lack of a better term, kind of weird.
Now, everyone already knows that car companies build concept cars which never make it to production. The purpose of this article is not to re-hash the same old stories everyone already knows about like the Buick Y-Job, the mid-engine Corvette, or the EV-1 electric car debacle. I want to talk about some General Motors side projects that you may not have heard about before.
There is an astonishing amount of technology present in today’s automobiles. Everything from transmissions to traction control, stability control, and other vehicle monitoring systems are all controlled by onboard computers. Therefore, it makes sense that General Motors would showcase its latest gadgets not at an auto show, but at the 2013 International CES show.
CES is the world’s largest trade show, drawing thousands of engineers, geeks, and tech-minded people from all over the world. Here, GM was showing off its latest in-car infotainment system called MyLink. The MyLink system won a CES Innovation Award for 2013 and was available for demonstrations throughout the show.