January 17, 2002

GM AUTOnomy concept car wins design award

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Detroit, Michigan – In its first annual award presentation, the Michelin Challenge Design has selected the General Motors concept “AUTOnomy” as the most significant new technology and design enabler. Michelin Challenge Design focuses on the role design plays in innovation and sustainable mobility.

The award was presented last week at the Eyes on Design Awards ceremony, sponsored by the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology.

GM’s AUTOnomy concept is the first vehicle designed from the ground up around a fuel cell propulsion system and the first to combine fuel cells with x-by-wire technology, which allows steering, braking and other vehicle systems to be controlled electronically rather than mechanically.

Dick Ruzzin, veteran designer and Chairman of this year’s Eyes on Design said, “The AUTOnomy is a design enabler because it combines technologies, giving designers opportunities that will result in a new definition of the word ‘vehicle’.” Ruzzin says the all encompassing, all purpose platform concept makes it possible to really re-think the automobile and the pickup truck, as well as the minivan, sport utility vehicle, and all the crossover vehicles that can result from their combination.

“On behalf of the entire GM AUTOnomy concept team, I want to thank the Michelin Challenge Design for its inaugural award,” said Larry Burns, GM vice-president of Research and Development and Planning. “AUTOnomy is about freedom – the freedom of our customers to buy cars and trucks that ignite their passion,” Burns said, “and the freedom of our designers to develop the kinds of vehicles that our customers can fall in love with. It’s also about energy and environmental freedom — enabling GM to develop and market sustainable vehicles as part of a sustainable economy.”

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