by Steve Hoffenberg | 01/17/2020
For the past several years, CES has been a premier showcase for automotive technology. In this gallery of photos, we highlight selected automotive and transportation infrastructure exhibits from the big show, as well as the GO-NV transportation summit and technology showcase event hosted by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, just prior to CES on the campus of University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).
Qualcomm announced a series of automotive initiatives, including: the Snapdragon Ride Platform with processors, SoCs, and software stack for ADAS and Autonomous driving (see photo); C-V2X cellular radio technology for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications; and car-to-cloud services for telematics and infotainment. Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon noted that the company has a $7B pipeline of design wins for telematics, infotainment, and in-car connectivity.
Tier 1 supplier Continental pitched a 3D lightfield centerstack that produces a holographic-like 3D image from the infotainment system (see photo), and a “transparent hood” features that uses augmented reality to project the road as though the hood was see-through. (We’ve seen a simulated demo of this hood feature going back to a 2014 video from Land Rover, which we presume used Continental’s tech.)
Harman showed a variety of in-vehicle and connected car services, including integration of SalesForce.com data into the infotainment system, to help business people who are driving to meetings (see photo).
Jeep offered attendees a mixed reality (augmented and virtual) ride in a Wrangler.
Ford caused quite a stir in November 2019 when it announced the next generation of its Mustang would be the all-electric Mach-E, which more closely resembles an SUV than the company’s iconic sports coupe. Nevertheless, as seen at CES, the car has killer-good looks, and its top level GT configuration has serious performance specs, including zero-to-60 mph in the “mid-3-second range.” That’s not quite on par with Tesla’s Model S Ludicrous mode time of 2.28 seconds, but it’s way faster than most people need to accelerate. We expect the Mach-E to be a big hit for Ford.
Even construction equipment was getting tech-enabled, such as a Bobcat mini-loader from Doosan with an augmented reality heads-up display by WayRay for overlaying information and graphics.
Out at GO-NV, public transit firm Keolis exhibited its autonomous shuttle vehicle (built by Navya of Canada), several of which were also out and about on the streets of Las Vegas. As with all current autonomous vehicles, a trained human must be aboard to take control in the event of autonomous system difficulties. Interestingly, because the vehicle is ultimately designed for full Level 5 autonomy, it doesn’t have a conventional steering wheel or pedals for acceleration and braking. So in the event that the human monitor must take command, the driving is handled via an adapted Microsoft X-Box gaming controller!
Not all the transportation tech was in-vehicle. For example, Israeli startup Valerann showed its Smart Road System, utilizing heavy-duty stainless steel sensors embedded in the roadway surface, roadside gateways, and a cloud-based data management platform, to sense traffic flow and provide information to traffic management personnel and law enforcement, and to drivers (via LED lighting patterns on the sensors). The roadway devices are self-powered via solar charging, and the company says they can withstand the heaviest tractor-trailers and even scraping by snowplows. The cost to set up and operate such a roadway will be approximately half a million dollars a mile, which will limit its use to high-importance or private roadways.
Not all the transportation tech was even ground-based. Hyundai’s prototype Uber air taxi was literally and figuratively the biggest attraction at the show.
At the beginning of the last decade, transportation technology at CES was largely limited to car stereos and early infotainment systems. We can only imagine where it will be in another decade.
For more on CES2020, see our blog post on Embeddy Award Winner AWS.