GM crab walked the Hummer EV truck up and down Woodward this weekend
Sometimes manufacturers like to show off their fancy new merchandise on the Woodward Dream Cruise. This is mainly done through static showcases with large displays that the public can marvel at. However, GM did something different this year with its GMC Hummer EV truck.
Instead of parking it at the Chevy and GM showroom area, they headed to Woodward Avenue itself to showcase the Hummer in preproduction form. GM not only drove the electric truck on the road in front of thousands, but it went all the way.
This was our first time, and probably the first time most people saw the Hummer EV crab mode in person. Judging by the reaction of the crowd (GM wanted everyone to be careful), people are impressed and perhaps a bit confused by the Hummer's sideways movements.
It's a strange spectacle to see in person. At first glance, the truck looks like it's sliding sideways on ice in a gentle, graceful slide. Because even though the wheels are being turned, the front of the truck is still pointing straight ahead. The GM employee behind the wheel of the prototype appeared to be moving forward at about 5-10 mph - he personally seems shockingly fast for the way this giant truck presents itself.
The technology that makes it work is pretty simple in concept. GM simply adopted the existing rear wheel steering technology, then reinforced it and modified it for that type of movement. While most rear-wheel steered cars extend their rear wheels to a maximum of about 5 degrees, this Hummer can turn the wheels up to 10 degrees. Turn the wheel left or right in crab mode and the lobster will skew down the street. When used for its intended purpose, the crab mode is designed to help you navigate the lobster through paths that might otherwise be too big for normal steering.
In reality, we suspect that most people use crab mode just like GM did last weekend: to impress people. And honestly, we can't blame them. It was a really cool sight.
Crab mode in action:
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