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GM is making the Hummer EV in record time. Here's how

November 21, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Last month, GM unveiled its GMC Hummer EV along with a video featuring the electric truck speeding across salt flats, climbing over boulders and driving diagonally -- or "crab walking" -- through canyons. The only thing is that it wasn't a real Hummer EV at all.

In the case of GM's new 1,000-horsepower Hummer EV, engineers say they have cut the time down to just two years.

Also, the essential goal of the Hummer EV, was straightforward: to create "a legit off-road vehicle," said Michael Colville, one of the lead engineers working on the project.

Testing virtual parts has allowed GM to drastically cut the number of 3D-printed prototype parts -- which can cost 10 to 20 times as much as a mass-produced part, said Jim Hentschel, GM's global vice president for safety systems and integration.

Also, far more tests can be run virtually than using real parts and vehicles.

For the Hummer EV, engineers used virtual testing.

It's also become much easier to collect detailed data from virtual tests, said Hentschel.

With virtual crash tests, for instance, engineers can study how individual parts of the car, including parts deep inside, performed on impact in enormous detail, he said.

Still, automakers need to take great care when relying on virtual rather than real testing, Abuelsamid said.

Systems like this were used to test motors, batteries and braking systems for the Hummer EVs, Colville said.

Human test drivers were able to use virtual-reality systems that emulated the sensations of driving a Hummer EV long before the first prototype trucks have even been built.

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