Holden has offered an insight into the future of in-car technology with a workshop to support the introduction of the Holden Volt long range electric car.
The workshop was hosted by Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mike Devereux and showcases parent company GM’s global developments in car safety and infotainment.
Mr Devereux said the long range Holden Volt gave drivers a chance to own the car of the future today.The Volt, which goes on sale in Australia in November, can recharge in less than six hours via a regular household outlet (10A charge) and costs as little as $2.50 for a full charge.
“Volt is a very exciting car as it offers owners a unique driving experience. From its award-winning advanced technology propulsion to its cutting edge infotainment system and all-new active safety features, Volt is a showcase of what is to come from cars in the future. But it will be available for Australian drivers to own before the end of the year,” said Mr Devereux.
Holden reported new advanced active safety features, including Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert, will be offered for the first time in a Holden, making Volt one of the safest vehicles on the road.
‘Volt’s Lane Departure Warning helps to modify collision risks that may arise when drivers stray over lane markings unintentionally, or depart a lane without signalling first. The system uses a windscreen-mounted digital camera that looks for lane markings to provide lane departure alerts over a certain speed.
The Forward Collision Alert system uses the same windscreen-mounted camera for lane departure warnings to detect slow or stationary traffic in front of the vehicle. The system looks for vehicles ahead and warns drivers if they are following another vehicle too closely.’ (Holden)
Additionally Volt offers many of the features expected by today’s car buyer, including voice recognition and Bluetooth®, DVD playback (while stationary), MP3 plug and play functionality, USB input with iPod® compatibility, 30GB inbuilt hard drive and Premium low energy Bose® audio system.
GM Senior Manager for Infotainment Program Management, Kathleen McMahon said that these were features increasing number of consumers were expecting to see in vehicles.
“We’ve seen a rapid change in the way drivers expect to be able to interact with the vehicles and it has been driven to a large extent by the explosion in usage of smartphones and the accessibility of 3G and now 4G mobile networks,” said Mrs McMahon.
GM’s Executive Director for Electrical Systems, Kristen Siemen, shared details on new safety technology as well as GM’s work on early autonomous vehicles.
“There are many important technologies under development on the way to our vision to build vehicles that don’t crash and ultimately vehicles that can drive themselves. The building blocks toward that vision are systems like Electronic Stability Control (ESC), which is now standard on Holden cars,” Kristen Siemen.
GM reported the company is participating in a 2800 vehicle pilot program in the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Using the same hardware piloted initially in a South Australian trial by UniSA and Cohda Wireless, more than 2800 cars, trucks and public transport vehicles have been fitted with integrated safety systems, vehicle awareness devices, aftermarket and retrofit safety devices. This will enable the vehicles to both communicate with each other and 73 lane-miles of roadway which has been fitted with transponder equipment.