The incredible new car technology from CES
It’s the event that hundreds of thousands of tech lovers converge on to see what’s new in the gadget world. But now CES is also the place to go to find out what lies ahead in the motoring world. James Baggott headed to Las Vegas to get a glimpse of what carmakers are planning for the future.
The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas may be the place to learn about smart fridges, huge flat-screen TVs and the latest drones – but it’s also rapidly becoming a hotbed of car news too.
More and more car manufacturers are investing in huge stands and unveiling their latest technology at the event in Sin City.
This year, Japanese and South Korean manufacturers flocked to the event to show off their new products. Here we take a look at the biggest news.
Kia Niro EV
South Korean firm Kia used the show to take the wraps off its next-generation electric car – an SUV with a range of 238 miles. It features a 64kWh battery pack and leads the charge for the brand’s promise to roll out a further 16 more electrified vehicles by 2025. On the outside it debuts a smart, futuristic look, while inside there’s a gesture-controlled cockpit and 5G connection for high-definition content streaming – that means Netflix on the go and no buffering for your passengers to worry about.
Nissan mind reading
Nissan says its cars of the future will read drivers’ minds to reduce reaction times and make autonomous driving more comfortable. The Brain-to-Vehicle (B2V) technology can predict human behaviour and detect when a motorist is feeling uncomfortable, thanks to clever software. Brain waves are decoded by a special headband worn by the driver and Nissan says it cuts reaction times by guessing when a driver is about to make a movement – such as braking when they spot stationary traffic.
In the future, tipping the pizza boy will be a thing of the past if Toyota has its way and your Mighty Meaty is delivered autonomously by one of these. It’s called the e-Palette, an autonomous, electric vehicle designed to be used by businesses such as Amazon, Uber and Pizza Hut. The idea, says Toyota, is that businesses can adapt and modify the platform to suit their needs – be that carrying passengers as a taxi or dropping off your last-minute online purchases.
Honda off-road robot
Another Japanese car firm looking to help industry is Honda, with the all-terrain 3E-D18 robot. Looking like a quad bike, it’s designed to be adaptable so owners can use it for construction, or on the farm. Honda describes the autonomous, battery-powered 3E-D18 as a “workhorse” that could be adapted for use in search and rescue or firefighting, as it “minimises human exposure to dangerous environments”. Using GPS and sensor-based autonomy, it can navigate almost any terrain.
Move over Tesla, there’s a new electric car in town – although if you didn’t search hard, you’d have missed it at CES. Tucked away in the corner was the Fisker EMotion – an electric supercar with a 400-mile range and claimed top speed of more than 160mph. With similar dimensions to a Tesla Model S, the Fisker has a mad butterfly front and rear doors controlled by a smartphone, three screens inside for the driver, and autonomous capabilities. First models are due in 2020 and it’ll cost £96,000.
With a former BMW i executive at the tiller of the company, Chinese-owned Byton is hoping its electric concept car will be a hit. With a 469bhp powertrain and a 323-mile range, the car debuts a whopping dashboard-wide screen to give the driver all the information they could dream of.
— James Baggott (@CarDealerEd) January 9, 2018
It’ll be available with two power options – buyers will be able to pick from a 268bhp rear-wheel-drive version or four-wheel-drive 469bhp variant. The batteries form part of the chassis, and instead of door handles it uses facial-recognition cameras to unlock the doors. It is due to enter production next year at a cost of £33,200.
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