Celebrating 100 Years of Research and Development Innovation

Throughout history, research and innovation have driven humanity forward in remarkable ways, allowing us to solve some of the world’s most vexing challenges and satisfying human curiosity along the way. The thrill of discovery and innovation is what propels us at General Motors, not just because we want to be “the first” or “the only,” but because we recognize that technology must continue to advance to improve individual lives.   

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the world experienced firsthand the importance of ingenuity and innovation; companies and individuals alike relied on these traits to survive and thrive. While researchers continue to race to develop a vaccine for this deadly virus, brick-and-mortar businesses have discovered how to prosper online, influencers are throwing virtual events attracting millions, and companies like GM are retooling vehicle manufacturing facilities for mask and ventilator production.   

Innovating to Change the World: The Robonaut 2 and Machines for the Salk Polio Vaccine
For the past 100 years, GM’s R&D team has played a decisive role in how our company acts with resilience, takes risks and leverages resources to drive meaningful change – even outside of our industry. Take the Centri-Filmer for example. This vaccine purifying machine was developed in the 1950s based on the R&D team’s bearing and balancing expertise. Ultimately, this technology enabled large-scale manufacturing of critical vaccines such as the Salk polio vaccine. In the early 2000s, our researchers worked closely with NASA scientists to develop Robonaut 2 for the International Space Station, as well as the RoboGlove which is capable of being used by our team members in manufacturing facilities.
Transforming Mobility Through Technology and Innovation

Of course, through the years our R&D team has also stayed true to its mission, developing transformative advanced vehicle technologies for our customers. Super Cruise1 gave drivers the ability to experience true hands-free driving on compatible highways. The CarbonPro composite pickup bed provided truck lovers with a compartment featuring unprecedented dent, scratch and corrosion resistance. And OnStar Proactive Alerts delivered customers advanced notice of potential vehicle problems, turning what was an unexpected and serious repair into routine maintenance.   

And while we have 100 years of incredible history behind us, GM R&D remains focused preparing for the next century of innovation. We clearly see the path toward an all-electric future for our company and for the industry. Our team’s pioneering work developing a 450-volt silver-zinc battery pack for the 1966 Electrovair II helped pave the way for the Chevrolet Volt, the Chevrolet Bolt EV and soon, the GMC HUMMER EV and Cadillac Lyriq.   

Through electrification, we see a cleaner, more sustainable planet. We see the advancement of artificial intelligence and machine learning leading us to self-driving vehicles. And we see a safer world for all, powered by our ability to deploy our innovations at scale.   

The future of GM R&D is bright, and we encourage you to join us on our journey to help create a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion and check out careers at General Motors.   


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    CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF R&D INNOVATION. Source: https://www.gm.com/masthead-story/innovation-research-development-technology.html