General Motors is looking to make rental cars that are truly out of this world.
The automaker has teamed up with Lockheed Martin to develop a line of Lunar Mobility Vehicles that will provide transportation for manned missions visiting the Moon.
The collaboration aims to have the vehicles ready ahead of the first manned Moon missions of the 21st century, which are currently slated for 2025.
The vehicles are being designed with autonomous driving capability and platforms that can handle carrying humans or gear around the lunar surface.
The project is moving forward independently of NASA’s Artemis program and is set to go without any government contracts to back it.
GM is using the same “driver-in-the-loop” simulator it employed in the development of the GMC Hummer EV, which halved its time to market to two years.
The system has been programmed with a recreation of a section of the Moon’s surface and set to one-sixth of Earth’s gravity.
“The things that you would do to make a vehicle good in an off-road environment on Earth are the same things you would do on the Moon, it’s just a shift in the numbers,” said Jeff Vogt, GM advanced vehicle dynamics lead engineer.
A GM spokesperson told FOX Business the idea is that the vehicles will be sent to the Moon ahead of the mission, then made available for lease to any government-led expeditions that visit the Moon, either from the U.S. or other nations.
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The vehicles will be recharged using solar power and are being engineered with easy maintenance that should give them a lifespan of about 10 years.