Six GM innovations that have nothing to do with cars

Not many know that General Motors has actually innovated more than just cars and trucks. Here's looking at six little-known facts.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 27 Jun 2015 Views icon6731 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Six GM innovations that have nothing to do with cars

General Motors, one of the biggest automakers in the world, is a brand synonymous with innovation in the automotive industry – from the first production turbocharged engine to the first airbag. But it is a little known fact that GM actually innovated more than just cars and trucks. Here are six of them:


1945: Sloan Kettering Institute established

In the 1940s, two General Motors executives, Alfred P Sloan and Charles F Kettering, joined forces to establish the Sloan Kettering Institute (SKI), which has since become one of the USA’s leading biomedical research institutions. In 1960, a new corporate entity – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center – was formed to coordinate and guide the overall policy for Memorial Hospital and the Sloan Kettering Institute.


1952: First mechanical open- heart surgery heart pump

Heart disease was once a death sentence. GM researchers developed and donated a mechanical heart pump that enabled the world’s first open-heart surgery – right in Detroit, USA. Today it is located in the hands of the GM Heritage Center.


1969: GM develops Apollo moon program guidance system

In the 1960s, the world was engrossed in the space race. Through its AC Electronics division, GM developed and manufactured the inertial guidance and navigation systems for the entire Apollo moon program, including Apollo 11, the first manned landing on the moon, in 1969.


1971: GM helps develop lunar rover

GM was responsible for all mobility systems and components of the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) that Apollo 15 astronauts first drove on the moon in 1971.


2010: EN-V personal mobility concept

To address congestion and pollution in large, global cities, GM introduced the EN-V electric, networked vehicle at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. It is the first urban personal mobility concept that combines battery-electric propulsion, a dedicated short-range communications, sensing, and GPS platform, a small design footprint, and high maneuverability. It embodies a vision of city living that supported the Expo theme of ‘Better City, Better Life’.


2014: First automaker with female CEO

Mary Barra is named CEO, making GM the first automaker with a female CEO.


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