Tech is at full speed at the on-going Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 and Las Vegas looked like a turbocharged Detroit when it came to vehicle technology. In fact, CES 2018 looked so far into the future of transportation that even autonomous driving appeared passé. From Toyota and Nissan to Mercedes-Benz and Ford, the world’s leading auto manufacturers displayed their latest concept cars and transportation solutions, strengthening the reputation of CES as not only a technology show, but as one of the best auto shows in the world. Vikram Chaudhary takes a look at the connected vehicles displayed there.
Byton, a new car company is born
Byton is a China-based company founded by veterans of BMW and Infiniti, and it chose CES 2018 to present itself to the world, by showcasing an all-electric SUV on the first media day. The base version will start at about $45,000. Initially, the company is targeting the Chinese market, but the founders said that, by the first half of 2020, the SUV will be available in North America, and sales in Europe will follow later that year. The vehicle has a huge screen, called the Shared Experience Display, which stretches across the entire dashboard.
German carmaker Mercedes-Benz premiered its new infotainment system, Mercedes-Benz User Experience, at CES 2018. The show in Las Vegas was also the final destination of the company’s Intelligent World Drive. The company showcased its cars Concept EQA, smart vision EQ for two and Mercedes-AMG Project ONE. These three models, the company said, demonstrate the possibilities of electric and autonomous driving.
Nissan can read your mind
From technology that reads driver’s brain waves to a fully autonomous vehicle, Nissan gave visitors a glimpse of its vision for the future of mobility—a future “with more autonomy, more electrification and more connectivity,” the company said. Its Brain-to-Vehicle (B2V) technology, it says, interprets signals from the driver’s brain to assist with driving and help the vehicle learn from the driver. Nissan also featured its IMx concept vehicle (in photo) that has autonomous driving capabilities, seating for four, and an electric powertrain with more torque than Nissan GT-R.
Toyota has an e-commerce mobility platform
Toyota unveiled its vision for autonomous business applications, with its reconfigurable e-Palette vehicles (in photo) to provide space for on-demand offices, ride sharing, meal deliveries, stores and medical clinics. President Akio Toyoda said, “E-Palette will be fully electric, and will be powered by Toyota’s autonomous technology.” Toyota also became the latest automaker to adopt Amazon’s Alexa in its vehicles, including Lexus, announcing a partnership at CES that enables the assistant to work with its newest infotainment platforms.
Ford wants to be more than a car company
In his CES 2018 keynote address, Ford Motor’s president and CEO Jim Hackett said the company will focus on the development of mobility solutions as the world progresses towards smarter cities. Ford’s vision is to become a trusted mobility company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world, and so it showcased its “City of Tomorrow” at CES 2018. It also announced partnership with Postmates, the delivery service firm, to test deliveries in its self-driving cars, and showcased the self-driving pizza delivery car that delivers Domino’s Pizza.