Warren, Michigan, USA
Founded in the USA on 22 August 1902, Cadillac Motor Car Division, a Division General Motors Company (GM) , revealed their first electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) concept aircraft design specifically made for Urban Air Mobility (UAM), at the all-virtual Consumer Electronics Show 2021 (CES 2021) which is normally held in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The CES 2021 conference was completely virtual, due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic
GM stated this is their first attempt at designing a concept electric aircraft and are looking towards the future by making easy-to-use on-demand personal luxury autonomous ground and air transportation for urban mobility, for the discerning consumer. The company calls their on-demand autonomous ground vehicles and eVTOL aircraft their multimodal future. As of January 2021, Cadillac has not officially named their eVTOL aircraft yet because Cadillac is referring to their eVTOL concept design as either "Cadillac VTOL" or "Cadillac Vertical Take-Off and Landing".
Cadillac's eVTOL concept design aircraft is a one passenger spacious luxury aircraft and has a unique look because its fuselage is vertical instead of the more typical horizontal fuselage design used by most aircraft designers. Cadillac's design has a large front window allowing spectacular views for the passenger and on the inside, the company has intimated the interior would be luxurious. There are four propellers on two levels of the aircraft, which again, give the aircraft another unique look. The two front propellers are placed at the bottom front edge of the fuselage and the rear two propellers are located at the top rear edge of the fuselage.
However, members of the vertical takeoff and landing aviation community have criticized the design as untenable. See the article titled, "General Motors ‘personal drone’ eVTOL concept appears years behind potential competitors" published on Jan. 12, 2021 by eVTOL Magazine, for more information of the aviation community's critique.
Automotive companies often unveil concepts to indicate that they are looking at certain future technologies, and sometimes concept designs are fantastical to attract more attention. But this design as shown, is a perfect example of the saying, 'It’s easy to design an aircraft, if you don’t know how.'
—Mike Hirschberg, Executive Director, Vertical Flight Society
GM is touting their new Ultium batteries that have a high nickel and low cobalt content, which the company states require less wiring than small cylindrical battery packs. The Cadillac VTOL craft would be powered with a 90kW Ultium battery allowing the aircraft to travel to and from urban vertiports with an estimated maximum speed of 56 mph (90 km/h). From Cadillac's pictures and video, it looks like aircraft's landing gear has retractable tricycle-type landing legs. Cadillac is revealing very few specifications of their aircraft. No range or flight time has been talked about by the company for the aircraft. Cadillac noted that a two seat eVTOL aircraft could also in development.
The aircraft is featured online on a General Motors (GM) website called GM Exhibit Zero. GM also announced at January's Consumer Electronics Show 2021, the company could be making an all electric vehicle named the Cadillac LYRIQ (an SUV), an all electric GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 (off-road vehicle) and the Cadillac Personal Autonomous Vehicle (PAV - slated for on-demand autonomous ride-sharing). Some January 2021 online articles are reporting the name of Cadillac's ride-sharing electric vehicle, the PAV, is called the Halo.
Cadillac has not provided any timeline concerning when their eVTOL prototypes would be made, let alone when they foresee what year production of their eVTOL aircraft will begin.
- Aircraft type: Single seat eVTOL
- Piloting: Autonomous AI controlled biometric-user interface
- Capacity: 1 passenger
- Cruise speed: 56 mph (90 kilometers)
- Range: Unknown
- Propellers: 4 ducted propellers
- Electric Motors: 4
- Power source: 90kW battery
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber
- Windows: Panoramic windows allowing forward, left, right and top visibility, for spectacular views
- Landing gear: Tricycle retractable landing gear legs
- Cadillac website
- General Motors website
- General Motors Exhibit Zero website
- Cadillac LYRIQ all-electric SUV web page
- Cadillac Facebook
- Cadillac Twitter
- Cadillac YouTube Channel
- Cadillac Instagram
- Cadillac LinkedIn
- Video: FLYING CAR! GM reimagines transportation! (Full eVTOL reveal), CNET Highlights, Jan. 12, 2021
- Article: Cadillac shows off a single-seater VTOL drone concept. It's an escalade, but in the air, Engadget, Jan. 12, 2021
- Article: General Motors ‘personal drone’ eVTOL concept appears years behind potential competitors, eVTOL Magazine, Jan. 12, 2021
- Article: GM Unveiled a Flying Cadillac Concept at CES, and We Want One, Robb Report, Jan. 12, 2021
- Article: GM surprises with Cadillac eVTOL air taxi at CES 2021, CNET, Jan. 12, 2021
- Article: GM surprises with autonomous Cadillac and flying car concepts, The Verge, Jan. 12, 2021
- Article: Yes, GM Showed a Flying Car at CES!, Autoweek, Jan. 14, 2021
- Article: GM's Flying Taxi Concept Won't Save Cadillac. At least, not on its own, The Drive, Jan. 13, 2021
- Article: CES 2021: Cadillac shows off multiple EV concepts, SAE, Jan. 21, 2020
- Article: GM to go all-electric by 2035, phase out gas and diesel engines, NBC News, Jan. 28, 2021