Automakers Turn Up In-Vehicle AI and Tech Volume at 2018 CES
This week at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, automakers reached new levels of collaboration with tech giants such as Amazon, Google, and Intel that even included showing off a flying car drone. The latest in AI voice-assistant communication and autonomous vehicle driving systems with greater connectivity are on display to tempt and even meet consumer’s desires and needs.
Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Hackett kicked off the 2018 CES with comments about Ford’s vision of harnessing technology to “serve human needs, improve lives, and restore a sense of community.” The latest version of ride sharing and smart infrastructures in cities that rely on a Cloud network for vehicles and pedestrians to communicate are two ideas being tested. Ford also is partnering with delivery service providers such as Postmates and Domino’s Pizza on pilot city mobility projects.
Introductions of new-platform vehicles is making news with Hyundai’s debut of the connected 2019 Nexo fuel-cell electric SUV in collaboration with technology leader Cisco. Kia also showed an electric variant of the Niro subcompact SUV.
Flashy electric concepts from Fisker and China’s EV start-up Byton also debuted. In addition, semiconductor maker Intel revealed the first in a fleet of 100 autonomous test cars and thrilled visitors with a futuristic Volocopter autonomous passenger drone.
New systems that use advanced technology in vehicles also are being highlighted. Mercedes-Benz premiered a new User Experience infotainment system that features AI and an intuitive operating system that will become standard equipment on its next compact car lineup to be revealed this year. Jaguar Land Rover also made news with their 5G connectivity in vehicle to home communication through partnerships with QualComm Technologies and GenTex.
Major automotive suppliers and automakers are blending expertise in pilot auto test projects. Delphi Automotive, now renamed Aptiv, is giving participants at CES 2018 rides in pilot BMW 5 Series self-driving sedans that use ride-hailing software from Lyft. Also, Visteon, spun off from Ford, showed off its DriveCore autonomous driving platform that includes hardware and software.
What would CES be without robotics? Honda branches out with a new renewable Mobile Power Pack that is rechargeable and can power vehicles and operate home appliances. One example at CES is the Honda 3E-D18 off-road vehicle, based on a Honda ATV chassis, with an electric powertrain that can be used for emergency rescue, firefighting, construction, and agricultural applications.
AI continues to advance functionality in new vehicles at CES 2018. Among announcements, Toyota Motor will introduce Amazon Alexa cloud-based voice AI in some Toyota and Lexus vehicles with specific app suites in 2018 and 2019. Alexa can answer thousands of requests, from getting directions to controlling smart home devices on the road. Kia also said that its UVO Agent, which allows AI interaction with Google Assistant, will be available in several Kia models this year.
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- Highlights from the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show
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