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Moon Off-Roading In The GM Electric Car Makes The Hummer EV Look Normal
The mission for NASA’s Artemis program is to land astronauts on the Moon's South Pole by 2025; however, the space agency won’t be alone for the ride, especially when it comes to driving around the landing site. GM, along with Lockheed Martin, is working on a new Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV), and plans to use similar tools for the LTV as it did for the Hummer EV.
GM has a proud history of building the first lunar rover on the Moon in 1971, but its new partnership centers on building a ride for the long-term. After all, the main mission of the Artemis program is to establish a base of operations on the Moon's South Pole, the first step in the push to colonize the Solar System and beyond, with Mars as the next step.
The automaker’s multi-million-dollar “Driver in the Loop” (DiL) lab played a key part in the development of the C8 Corvette and the Hummer EV before tackling its greatest task to date with the Lunar Terrain Vehicle program. Both earth-bound vehicles provided key insights to the lab staff that contributed to the LTV’s development during virtual performance simulations.
The LTV’s design team is involved in the Ultium EV ecosystem, which will power the LTV if and when it goes up to the Moon, as well as autonomous system engineering; the LTV is meant to be a Level 5 ride, doing its work without humans for 99% of the calendar year. The team also reached out to the astronauts from the Apollo program to get their thoughts on the new rover.