GMTC-I de­vel­ops fu­ture-ready au­to­mo­tive prod­ucts

Auto components India - - STORY - Story by: Bhar­gav TS & Sricha­ran R

Gen­eral Mo­tors Tech­ni­cal Cen­tre In­dia (GMTC-I), an en­gi­neer­ing and re­search cen­tre of Gen­eral Mo­tors (GM), is work­ing on new prod­ucts for the up­com­ing trends in the world mar­ket. The Detroit-based GM is mov­ing to­wards the vi­sion of zero crashes, zero emis­sions and zero con­ges­tion. GMTC-I is help­ing the global leader to bring in the best fu­ture-ready prod­ucts.

GM and its sub­sidiaries and joint ven­ture en­ti­ties sell ve­hi­cles un­der the brand names of Chevro­let, Cadil­lac, Bao­jun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vaux­hall and Wul­ing. Around 85% of GM’s to­tal ve­hi­cle vari­ants are be­ing worked at GMTC-I and it plays a very sig­nif­i­cant role in GM’s global plans. Brian McMur­ray, Vice Pres­i­dent, En­gi­neer­ing and Op­er­a­tions, GMTC-I told Au­toCom­po­nents

In­dia, “We are fo­cused on the vi­sion of the com­pany that is zero crashes, zero emis­sions and zero con­ges­tion. Zero emis­sion is the ul­ti­mate goal and to achieve this we need to take sev­eral steps. From an in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine per­spec­tive, we will con­tinue to work on the en­gines and will make it more ef­fi­cient for quite a long time. At the same time, we will also work on elec­tri­fi­ca­tion. When you have a ve­hi­cle that can do more than 300 km, it means you are close to elim­i­nat­ing the range anx­i­ety for the cus­tomer.”

“Some of the new en­gines we pro­duce are of cut­ting edge, state of the art tech­nol­ogy. Still they are af­ford­able. Now, we have the Ac­tive Fuel Man­age­ment (AFM), or Cylin­der De­ac­ti­va­tion tech­nol­ogy, which can shut down any num­ber of cylin­ders to cap­i­talise on the most ef­fi­cient method to move a ve­hi­cle. This is a big deal,” he added.

GM re­cently launched the new tech­nol­ogy in the light­est Cadil­lac ever made with the light­est 2-litre en­gine. AFM is a Gen­eral Mo­tors en­gine tech­nol­ogy that shuts down half of the en­gine’s cylin­ders in light driv­ing con­di­tions to im­prove fuel econ­omy. The new tech­nol­ogy saves fuel by us­ing only half of the en­gine’s cylin­ders dur­ing some driv­ing sit­u­a­tions – such as high­way cruis­ing — and then seam­lessly re­ac­ti­vates the other cylin­ders when a driver needs

more power for ac­cel­er­a­tion, climb­ing a gra­di­ent or haul­ing. AFM uses a com­bi­na­tion of sim­ple hy­draulic valves and so­phis­ti­cated soft­ware to switch off the cylin­ders when the driver doesn’t need full power. When more power is re­quired, the sys­tem seam­lessly re-en­gages the ad­di­tional cylin­ders. The pri­mary ben­e­fit of Cylin­der De­ac­ti­va­tion/ AFM is to achieve higher fuel econ­omy with­out down­sis­ing en­gines. The tech­nol­ogy can im­prove fuel econ­omy by up to 12% with­out sac­ri­fic­ing per­for­mance. He said that the new devel­op­ment has good re­sponse and it has set a new bench­mark.

About elec­tri­fi­ca­tion which is an­other ma­jor trend of the fu­ture, McMur­ray said GM is ready and has re­cently launched the Bolt. He also men­tioned that the next gen­er­a­tion Bolt is com­ing up, and there are other EV prod­ucts that will be re­leased in 12 months. Some el­e­ments of the EVs have been done in GMTC-I.

McMur­ray said that GM is com­ing up with more new en­gines to com­pete in the global mar­ket. The car maker is com­ing up with a range of small and large en­gines with max­i­mum fuel econ­omy. “It is not just a global propul­sion prob­lem, but a ve­hi­cle prob­lem. We need to work on the aero­dy­nam­ics and make sure to elim­i­nate en­ergy loss. We also need to work on the elec­tri­cal sys­tem, de­sign and man­age the air around the ve­hi­cle. New gen­er­a­tion tyres, re­sis­tant brak­ing sys­tem and much more are be­ing de­signed to get to zero crashes, zero emis­sions and zero con­ges­tion. With ev­ery­thing is in place, we will come out with a se­ries of prod­ucts.”

En­gi­neer­ing is a global func­tion for Gen­eral Mo­tors and the In­dia de­sign cen­tre is an in­te­gral part of it. GMTC-I houses a de­sign stu­dio and an en­gi­neer­ing cen­tre. The In­dia cen­tre con­trib­utes to a sig­nif­i­cant per­cent­age of the GM global pro­grammes, in­clud­ing de­sign, anal­y­sis and devel­op­ment of ve­hi­cles and propul­sion sys­tems. The VP stated GMTC-I was part of the devel­op­ment and their ex­per­tise was used in the new en­gine and the new trans­mis­sion. With the mar­ket chang­ing quicker than ever be­fore, McMur­ray said the tech­ni­cal cen­tre in In­dia plays a ma­jor role at the global level.

“With the mar­ket chang­ing quickly, what is rel­e­vant to­day might not be rel­e­vant to­mor­row. It will change. So, when the new tech­nol­ogy comes in, we may not be ready for it but, we will adapt to it very quickly. This is where the en­gi­neer­ing pow­er­house comes in, where we will be work­ing on new tech­nolo­gies and adapt­ing to new tech­nolo­gies,” McMur­ray, said.

Brian McMur­ray, Vice Pres­i­dent, En­gi­neer­ing and Op­er­a­tions, GMTC-I

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