2015 is shaping up to be another milestone year for the connected car, and this year’s Consumer Electronics Show promises to be the showcase event. Underscoring the expanding importance of the connected car, a record 10 automotive manufacturers (Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Hyundai, Mazda, Mercedes, Toyota and Volkswagen) will be exhibiting at various CES venues around Las Vegas. Automotive exhibits at the 2015 CES will cover more than 165,000 net square feet of exhibit space, up 17 percent over last year’s show.
At CES, we are expecting a new crop of automotive technology introductions in similar fashion to that of a major auto show. “CES has definitely become an A show,” said Brad Stertz, a spokesman for Audi, which will unveil its next iteration of the self-driving car at CES “It’s important now more than ever, especially in the luxury segment, to be seen as a technology leader.
Ford is another example of how the auto industry views CES and its technology-specific audience. In 2010 Ford showed a new Taurus on a tiny 20-by-20 square of carpet. This year, Ford occupies a custom two-story display with five vehicles and multiple private meeting rooms. “We’re thinking of ourselves as a mobility company and not only a car and truck company,” said Ford CEO Mark Fields. “We want to be viewed as being part of this community.”
Alongside the advancements in autonomous driving, advanced driver assistance systems and vehicle communication, we will be watching the following new technologies presented at 2015 CES:
- Hyundai will be demonstrating its new cloud-based smartwatch app using its proprietary Blue Link platform which allows features such as remote start, lock and unlock of doors, vehicle locator and roadside assistance to be accessed through a smartwatch or smartphone. A dual Apple CarPlay/Android Auto infotainment platform will also be introduced.
- NVIDIA technology will be on display in multiple areas of CES, with QNX, Audi and BMW featuring embedded NVIDIA processors in their next-generation digital cockpits. NVIDIA’s 2015 CES booth will be largely dedicated to automotive technologies and will itself be featuring two exotic demonstration vehicles.
- Audi is intending on establishing a new audio reference with its introduction of an 11-channel, 23-speaker, three-dimensional sound system in a model-year 2016 Q7. We expect demonstrations of this system along with a new high performance self-driving vehicle and other new technologies at Audi’s CES booth.
- Mercedes Benz is expected to show an updated version of their autonomous vehicle concept. A lounge-inspired vision of the self-driving car interior will surely stimulate thought and debate over how people can better leverage their time and attention in the new world of vehicle autonomy.
- Ford will be showing its Sync 3 infotainment system’ that incorporates advancements in user interface, voice control and connectivity. While not a “game changer” that the original system was when it was introduced in 2007, Sync 3 promises to be a system that will be held as an industry benchmark for ease of use and device compatibility.
- QNX is expected to show a wide array of proprietary driver assist and infotainment system advancements as well as a new concept car based on a Maserati Quattroporte GTS. The updated ADAS integrates data from multiple sensors such as camera, ultrasonic and LiDAR, and utilizes an advanced digital instrument cluster. A new infotainment system based on the QNX CAR platform will also be demonstrated.
- BMW will be showing new connectivity options in its Connected Drive infotainment system, made possible through an online store accessible through in-car commands. Other tech announcements include smart laser headlamps, OLED tail lamps and a demonstration of advanced vehicle self-parking.
Automotive technology advancements from Delphi, Toyota and others will be reported throughout the week as CES runs from January 6 through January 9.
Source: How connected cars are overtaking video games at CES 2015 – Financial Post