GM Peppers the Congressional Black Caucus Conference with Tech

GM shows the CBC why it's a tech company that happens to make automobiles

There’s been tons of tech talk over the past couple of years. Summits are popping up all over the place. Currently, tech conversations are seeping into landscapes where we don’t traditionally hear too many tech discussions—government affairs is one example.

Tech made a strong splash at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Conference this year, tapping into subjects that ranged from smart cities to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math), to autonomous vehicles.

General Motors was an ardent participant and at the forefront of many of these conversations. When it comes to the automotive industry, it’s no wonder they are planning ahead and taking the steps to secure their spot in the new innovation economy.

One of their objectives is focused on creating a pipeline that provides students of color with the same opportunities as their counterparts in STEM. During the, Expanding STEM and the Arts for Underrepresented Youth conversation lead by Aisha Bowe of STEMBoard, Bowe made sure that each student understood the value of the opportunities put in front of them.

Smart Cities and You: The Future is Here, Don’t Get Left Behind Panel and Workshop, Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference (Image: File) Expanding STEM and the Arts for Underrepresented Youth panel. Ken Barrett, Global Chief Diversity Officer, GM; Congressman GK Butterfield (D-NC); and Tammy Golden, Plant Manager, Warren Transmission Operations, GM, (bottom center, left to right). Students from the Johns Hopkins Pathways in Technology Early College High School Program. (Image: File)

 

So what are some of these opportunities?

Tammy Golden, Plant Manager, Warren Transmission Operations, GM, shared the insights around what organizations GM is partnering with, in STEM/STEAM fields. General Motors is doing their part to keep up with the current demand in the job market by partnering with companies like Black Girls Code, Institute of Play, and Digital Promise, to prepare the students for the workforce in addition to offering mentorship programs such as Steminista, to keep them focused on a set path.

It’s interesting to see a car company position themselves this way but the truth of the matter is every company should be thinking about themselves as tech-enabled. Technology will be the driving force behind every future product and if you’re not thinking this way, you are already behind.

David Albritton, executive director of GM Global Product Development Communications gave us some insight on what General Motors is working on during the “Smart Cities and You: The Future is Here, Don’t Get Left Behind panel. This not only included their electric cars but, their preparation for autonomous vehicles.

Albritton made a point to note that GM is transitioning away from the automotive business and focusing on the technology business that makes automobiles. Additionally, he keyed us in on the fact that General Motors is currently testing autonomous vehicles in select markets.

I wanted to see exactly how entrenched the company was into technology so I tested out their new Chevy Bolt EV. After driving the car around Washington, D.C. and being admittedly nervous as I had never driven an electronic vehicle before, I was pleasantly surprised. It felt like I’d been driving the car for ages. There was no real learning curve like there is with other vehicles.

Additionally, the tech was spectacular. It had a rearview camera mirror, making objects beyond clear to see, a massive dashboard screen that integrated seamlessly with the iPhone and best of all, it could literally go a whopping 238 miles before it needed a recharge.

 

 

Check out the recap video that we shot. It’s much easier to show you then to tell you.