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GM Brand Sidewinder for Future Drive Systems

GM has filed a trademark application for the name Sidewinder, possibly for a new steering system that will be used in future vehicles.

Filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on October 5, application includes “electronic control unit for the steering system of land vehicles.” We haven’t seen an accompanying patent application for such hardware yet, but it would make sense for GM to develop a new drivetrain to keep up with the competition.

2024 Chevrolet Silverado prototype EV

2024 Chevrolet Silverado prototype EV

GM started the trend of using trick driving features with GMC Hummer EV Crab Walk of a pickup truck, allowing the electric truck to cross (on a diagonal) at low speeds. But other automakers have come up with their own steering gimmicks for electric vehicles.

Rivian showed off its R1S SUV and R1T pickup can make tank turn, allowing them to spin within their own lengths like the tracked military vehicle of the same name, although this feature doesn’t appear to have been added to production vehicles yet. Mercedes-Benz has also promised a tank turn feature for Its G-Wagen electric EQGis expected to arrive in 2024.

GMC Electric Sierra Denali teaser

GMC Electric Sierra Denali teaser

Ford has filed at least two patent applications for the tank turning feature. A version described using the EV’s motor to drive the front and rear wheels in opposite directions, while another version put the four-wheel steering wheel into play at the same time, use it to turn the front and rear wheels in opposite directions.

All these ideas have been applied to electric vehicles because the precise control of electric motors makes them possible. And something like a tank will likely be easiest on loose surfaces like dirt, hence the focus on off-road applications. So perhaps GM is planning its own version of the tank for a future update of the Hummer EV, or the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra Denali EV pickup truck.


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