General Motors SURUS concept is a fuel-cell electric heavy truck that can operate in autonomous mode, tackle difficult terrain, and has up to 400 miles of driving range. GM releases images and specifications of the Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS) before its official debut at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) meeting [Oct 9-11th, 2017].
The SURUS concept features two electric drive motors, four-wheel steering, lithium battery energy storage, GM’s Gen-2 hydrogen fuel-cell system, hydrogen storage system that offers up to 400 miles of range, GM’s medium duty truck components, and an advanced suspension system. GM did not offer any further details on suspension design, top operating speed, or vehicle weight and payload capability.
General Motors has offered several rendering for various uses for the SURUS platform. Naturally, such a vehicle is very attractive for uses by the military. Some of the other uses include: freight transport (SURUS is conveniently sized to carry a standard cargo shipping container), all-terrain capable ambulance, snow plowing, construction/utility transport, delivery services, and mobile power generation. There is no reason that it could not be adapted to other uses such as personnel transport or refuse truck.
GM is touting the autonomous capabilities of the SURUS, but we do not yet have confirmation on what environment(s) the SURUS can handle autonomously. Challenges of navigating a well mapped-out city, highway, or port are completely different from traversing a disaster zone off-road. There is no information on whether the SURUS can be operated via remote control.
The SURUS uses hydrogen as input fuel and produces electricity and water as byproducts of the fuel-cell system. The SURUS concept also has a water bottle and water hose to demonstrate the water distribution options.
Here is a first look at the Chevy Colorado ZH2 hydrogen fuel-cell truck that the U.S. is currently evaluating and testing.