The 2021 Consumer Electronics Show was supposed to be held in Las Vegas from January 6th to January 9th. However, because of the pandemic affecting normalcy around the world, it was moved to solely online for the first time since its inception. Companies still came to show off and show off they did. Cadillac, in particular, unveiled two new products from its HALO portfolio: the PAV Pod (personal autonomous vehicle), or more commonly referred to as the “Toaster-Shaped Party Bus”, and the eVTOL aircraft (electric vertical take-off and landing), or more simply a personal flying vehicle.
This party bus is seemingly a driverless limo for the more elegant nights with friends and/or family. The vehicle comes fully equipped with technology to make the drive as enjoyable as possible for the guests by using biometric sensors in each seat. These sensors read vital signs of the passengers, which is encroaching on Big Brother territory and adjusts a variety of settings such as heat, lighting, and humidity. However, if you wanted a different setting, the pod allows for voice control and hand gestures to change the experience, as well as snap some selfies along the way to the club.
As Michael Simcoe, the VP of Global Design at GM, says, the PAV is a “social space for a group of friends or family to spend time together on their way to a destination.” This is quickly obvious by looking at the PAV as it comes without any windows. If one doesn’t feel like chatting, however, it sports a full-length see-through roof so that the sky and skyline can be seen instead. And in case this pod hasn’t screamed luxury at you already, it also comes with a virtual fireplace, in case you want to have that cozy feeling of home within a limo.
The eVTOL is a four-rotor aircraft that is more similar to a personal aircraft, rather than a flying car. This is based on the images provided by GM showing an aircraft with room for only one passenger. However, this aircraft is no slouch with its 90-kWh battery allowing it to travel up to speeds of 56 mph. And with the way transportation technology is going, it will most likely be an autonomous aircraft, allowing you to get around the city quickly and easily.
Cadillac is not the first company to dabble in the eVTOL industry as Airbus, and Uber, as well as others, have presented ideas of aerial transportation. As both the Vahana project from Airbus and the Elevate project from Uber have closed or been sold to outside companies, Cadillac is now the new entry into the industry, sparking new debate as to whether this might become a reality with a new competitor in the mix.
These concepts might become a reality in the future, or they might just be another idea to put on the shelf. Only the future will tell.