For Dangerous, Difficult or Demanding Situations, SURUS is Ready


Creating a vehicle that can be reconfigured to meet whatever the situation calls for can seem like a daunting task. Add in the fact it needs to have autonomous capabilities, and have four-wheel drive to handle extreme terrain and it begins to sound impossible. But for the engineers at General Motors, it turned out to be anything but.

With the Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS) concept, General Motors came up with an entirely new category of vehicle designed to tackle everything from natural disasters to global conflicts without a drop of gas and often without a driver.

The modular SURUS platform unites GM’s latest Hydrotec fuel cell system with autonomous capability on a four-wheel drive truck chassis giving SURUS the ability to operate autonomously in scenarios where human drivers may be put in danger, such as disaster relief, search and rescue and commercial shipping. The platform can even be turned into a massive electricity generator or mobile emergency room.


When multiple SURUS vehicles are used together, they can be platooned in a leader-follower configuration with a lead vehicle using a driver and multiple vehicles in the chain following behind autonomously.

The Hydrotec fuel cell powertrain is the force behind SURUS. This technology puts an electric motor at each axle to give SURUS four-wheel drive capability. Providing that power is a lithium-ion battery that is charged by the hydrogen fuel cell.

SURUS is currently being tested in extreme real-world conditions, such as inclement weather and harsh terrains where more thorough data can be gathered. The ultimate goal is to take the insights gained from its development and one day use them in wider fuel cell and autonomous applications that can help advance mobility around the globe.