And it's also driverless, thus saving soldiers' lives.
Following its announcement to electrify its future lineup and ditch internal combustion, GM has revealed a new platform that can accommodate both autonomous and fuel cell technologies. It’s called the Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure, or SURUS, and it’ll make its debut at the Association of the United States Army this week. GM says the SURUS platform "leverages its newest Hydrotec fuel cell system, autonomous capability and truck chassis components to deliver high-performance, and zero-emission propulsion."
There are many potential future uses for such a platform, including military-specific configurations. Other possibilities include utility trucks, mobile and emergency backup power generation, flexible cargo delivery systems, commercial freight, and light- and medium-trucks. The Army has been testing the Chevy Colorado ZH2 since last April, so think of this platform as a potential successor, although ZH2 testing won’t conclude until next spring. When adapted for military use, for example, the new platform’s inherent low heat signature and quiet operation makes it difficult to detect when entering hostile environments. The US military is interested in fuel cell technology for its future vehicles and this is at least one thing that GM has in mind.
The SURUS platform is pretty impressive, featuring two advanced electric drive units, four-wheel steering, a lithium-ion battery system, Gen 2 fuel cell system and a hydrogen storage system capable of more than 400 miles of range. It also comes with advanced propulsion power electronics and an advanced suspension. “SURUS redefines fuel cell electric technology for both highway and off-road environments,” said executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Business Charlie Freese. Although it’s nothing more than a somewhat boring-looking platform right now, it’ll be interesting to see what future body designs GM, or the US Army, will come up with.