No Roads Required

In May, General Motors Co. and Lockheed Martin announced a partnership with the goal of producing a lunar rover that can cover more than 5 percent of the moon’s surface, which is how much humans have explored across all their trips to the celestial rock. The last visit by earthlings to the moon occurred in 1972.
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a rendering of two astronauts facing the earth from the surface of the moon with the silhouette of potential design for GM and Lockheed Martin's Lunar Rover.
All human expeditions to the moon to this point have only covered five percent of the rock’s surface. GM and Lockheed Martin intend to change that. // Courtesy of General Motors Co.

In May, General Motors Co. and Lockheed Martin announced a partnership with the goal of producing a lunar rover that can cover more than 5 percent of the moon’s surface, which is how much humans have explored across all their trips to the celestial rock. The last visit by earthlings to the moon occurred in 1972.

The rover would be equipped with more power, temperature-resistant materials, and autonomous capabilities controlled by astronauts, making tasks like sample and data-collection easier and safer. For its part, GM will provide electric technologies and propulsion systems to make the vehicle suited for any hurdle that stands in its way.

GM isn’t alone in thinking off the ground. At the start of 2021, Stellantis N.V. announced a partnership with Archer Aviation, a company that’s creating an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft designed for in-city transportation. (There’s no need to worry about aircraft buzzing overhead all hours of the day, as they’re designed to be ultra-quiet.)

The partnership allows Archer to access Stellantis’ low-cost supply chain, making mass production of the futuristic taxis a reality. International investment bank Morgan Stanley predicted the sustainable air-mobility market will be worth $1.5 trillion by 2040 in a January 2019 research article. The question is, how big a role will Michigan play in the emerging market?

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