GM Shows Silent Utility Rover To Military As Autonomous Fuel Cell Platform

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General Motors aims to solve tough transportation challenges created by natural disasters, complex logistics environments and global conflicts. The company displayed its Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS), a flexible fuel cell electric platform with autonomous capabilities, at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA). The commercially designed platform could be adapted for military use.

SURUS leverages GM’s newest Hydrotec fuel cell system, autonomous capability and truck chassis components to deliver high-performance, zero-emission propulsion to minimize logistical burdens and reduce human exposure to harm. Benefits include quiet and odor-free operation, off-road mobility, field configuration, instantaneous high torque, exportable power generation, water generation and quick refueling times.

Fuel cell technology represents a key piece of General Motors’ zero emission strategy. It offers a solution that can scale to larger vehicles with large payload requirements and operate over longer distances. SURUS was designed to form a foundation for a family of commercial vehicle solutions that leverages a single propulsion system integrated into a common chassis. The SURUS platform is equally well-suited for adaptation to military environments where users can take advantage of flexible energy resources, field configurability and improved logistical characteristics.

GM is evaluating multiple applications for SURUS, such as:

  • Utility trucks
  • Mobile and emergency backup power generation
  • Flexible cargo delivery systems
  • Commercial freight
  • Light- and medium-duty trucks, improving upon the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 that has been evaluated by the U.S. military under guidance of the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and is undergoing testing on bases
  • Future military-specific configurations

The SURUS platform leverages GM’s vast experience in fuel cell technology, high-voltage batteries and electric drive systems, autonomous driving and vehicle manufacturing. The platform boasts:

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  • Two advanced electric drive units
  • Four-wheel steering
  • Lithium-ion battery system
  • Gen 2 fuel cell system
  • Hydrogen storage system capable of more than 400 miles of range
  • Advanced propulsion power electronics
  • GM truck chassis components
  • An advanced, industry-leading suspension