At the annual CES event organized by the Consumer Technology Association, there is always a sizeable presence of car manufacturers and associated companies. 2019 was no different. This year we saw the launch of many innovative and eye-catching car tech at one of the most awaited events in the tech calendar. Here, we will review some of the best car technology on display at CES 2019 that grabbed all the eyeballs and headlines.
2019 CES Was Buzzing with Innovative Automakers and Associated Companies
At the last CES event held in 2018, we did not witness a lot of innovative tech on display from automakers and associated companies. However, 2019 was completely different and we saw a lot of innovative car tech being launched. At the event, established automakers made important announcement related to their cars while the tech startups and big boys came up with car tech that one couldn’t even have imagined a few years ago.
With variation in feasibility and realism, technology that reigned supreme was the technology that enabled autonomy, connectivity, and electrification. While full-fledged autonomous driving might be a good few years away, in-car connectivity is a reality today.
Visiting every corner of the Las Vegas Convention Center, we found a range of innovative car tech from electric hatchbacks to walking cars that will be up for sales sometime in the future. However, following are the car technologies on display at the CES 2019 that we found the most interesting.
1. The New-Look Mercedes-Benz
At the CES 2019 event, Mercedes-Benz launched the new generation CLA. Another addition to Mercedes’ compact cars fleet, the CLA has aggressive looking front end and a fastback-life roof line. However, the most noticeable feature in the new CLA is the Mercedes-Benz User experience (MBUX) infotainment system.
A ten-inch touchscreen, the infotainment system is high resolution and has an attractive look. In addition to the above, the car features frameless doors, a turbocharged2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, 7-speed automatic transmission, and an all-wheel drive system.
2. Urban Air Bus
A product of the Texas-based Bell Helicopter, the urban air bus called Nexus attracted a lot of attention from visitors at the CES 2019. Nexus is a flying machine that stands six feet tall. It looks like something out of a Terminator movie. The air bus takes off vertically, flies a pre-determined route, and can seat up to five people.
Testing of this innovative product is expected to begin during the latter part of 2019. Additionally, the company expects the tech to be available for use by mid-2020. According to Bell Helicopter, the Nexus needs to be maintained less often than a typical helicopter since its motors are powered by hybrid electric. In the future, the company plans to make the air bus fully electric and autonomous.
3. Hyundai Elevate
At the CES 2019, Hyundai launched a design study that you’ve witnessed in sci-fi films till now. A technology that is part car, part robot, Hyundai Elevate has an appearance of a fan and can walk. The purpose of this innovation is to allow first responders to pass through rough terrain that would stop even the most-strongly built SUV in its tracks.
In-wheel electric motors power the legs and the Elevate can navigate a wide range of conditions thanks to its autonomous technology. Additionally, it can walk like a mammal or reptile, step over a five-foot gap, jump over a five-foot wall, and lower itself to drive like a car on the freeway. However, Hyundai Elevate is only in the research stages at this time.
4. Self-Driving Motorcycle
In the past few years, several self-driving cars have been on display at the CES event. However, 2019 was different in the sense that it was the first time we saw a self-riding motorcycle. A product of the Motorrad division of BMW, the R 1200 GS can start, accelerate, slow down, maneuver around corners, and stop on its own.
In addition to the above, an advanced gyroscope is part of the bike which provides insights into riding dynamics. This can prove useful in helping riders master tough maneuvers and recognize dangerous situations. As a result, BMW believes that its motorcycle technology can help to train riders. However, BMW’s self-riding motorcycle won’t be up for sale until a few years at least.
5. KIA’s AI Technology for Cars
The self-driving cars of Kia could soon feature AI technology that recognizes human emotions. At the CES 2019, the South Korean automaker gave people a preview of how this technology works. The technology designed in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Kia’s AI technology for its self-driving cars depends on biosignal recognition to understand what emotion state you are in. It will know if you’re happy, angry, or feeling tired,
After it recognizes your emotional state, the AI technology will adjust the systems of the car such as the temperature, the ambient lighting, and music according to your mood.
6. Qualcomm’s Car Tech
At CES 2019, Qualcomm launched a technology that aims to make car-to-everything communication a reality. Built for automakers, the technology is a 9150 chipset allows car manufacturers to add cellular car-to-everything communication to their vehicles. The technology offers backward compatibility and is 5G-ready. This will allow it to stay up-to-date with current trends when it finally hits the market.
Big-named automakers such as Audi, Ford, and Ducati collaborated with Qualcomm at CES 2019 to showcase what the technology can do. Additionally, the three automakers have plans to add the technology to their cares soon. In fact, Ford made a commitment to feature it in every car and truck it produces in 2022.
While other innovative car tech was also on display at the CES 2019, the above-mentioned car innovations grabbed the biggest headlines and all the eyeballs at the event.
by Bobby J Davidson
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