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  • 29 January 2016

    Top Automotive Technology From CES 2016

    The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the world’s largest technology convention, showcasing the greatest advancements in consumer electronics. The show is hosted in the desert of Las Vegas, Nevada and has grown beyond everyone’s expectations, as many products that we now use on a daily basis first saw the light of day at the CES!

    A big show always has big announcements - especially when it comes to the automotive industry, and the exciting news announced at the show this year included new development plans from Toyota, Nissan and Kia. We have gathered together some of the best automotive technology from this year’s CES.

    Toyota


    Toyota gave the public a first-hand look at a cleaner, safer and more convenient future. The technologies on display included:

    • TOYOTA Smart Centre is a vision for a Smart Mobility Society which connects everyone; people, vehicles and entire communities at the same time. It is a private cloud-based system which collects secure vehicle data, analyses information from vehicles around the globe and provides the consumer with a personalised service which in turn makes life much easier for the driver.

    Toyota stand at CES 2016

    • Adopting technology originally developed by Ford, the team at Toyota is ditching Andriod Auto and Apple’s CarPlay for the open source SmartDeviceLink (SDL) platform. This will enable the consumer to connect mobile apps to their vehicle engaging through voice commands or the car’s interface. A large advantage of this open source software is that it enables a great connectivity experience for the any consumer with a smartphone, regardless of its brand.

    • Then there is the Toyota FCV Plus Concept, which was unveiled to be Toyota’s vision of a connected, sustainable hydrogen society. It demonstrates the potential of hydrogen fuel cells which could not only be used to fuel our cars but also be stored to power our homes and even whole communities.

    Toyota FCV Plus Concept at CES 2016

    • Agent+, the next-gen connected services systems Toyota are developing, which predicts your most likely destinations and gives you guidance by calculating multiple factors including day, time, location and even driving history.

    • Toyota’s Mobility Teammate Concept, demonstrates their extensive 20 yearlong research into automated driving technologies. Through testing artificial intelligence and deep learning, they hope to make automated driving safer and enjoyable for the future consumer. Gill Pratt from Toyota’s research institute spoke about the greater need for testing the reliability of autonomous vehicle systems before we will see them on the road, he explained simply:

    “Our industry has measured on-road reliability of autonomous vehicles in the millions of miles… but to achieve full mobility we actually need reliability that is a million times better than what we currently have… we need trillion mile reliability.”

    • Slightly odd looking, but very impressive is the Toyota Kikai, meaning “machine” which effectively is a vehicle turned inside-out with all the machinery on display.

    Toyota Kikai at CES 2016

    Nissan


    • Nissan didn’t have a new autonomous vehicle to show off at CES, however they did announce that in partnership with Renault, they plan to have ten vehicle models with autonomous capabilities on the road by 2020. The first step will be a feature called single-lane control that will make its debut in 2016. Later in 2018, the company will roll out multi-lane control, before deploying technology that could handle motorways and more.

    Nissan LEAF Autonomous Vehicle

    • Another partnership between Nissan and Microsoft was unveiled at CES, which will bring cloud connectivity to the electric LEAF models in Europe. Using Microsoft’s Azure, a secure global cloud will allow a remote connection to the vehicle for the consumer to control certain functions from a smart device, such as climate control and charging procedures.

    Kia


    • At the Kia stand it was all about the launch of their new ‘DRIVE WISE’ brand which promises self-driving technology by 2020 and fully autonomous cars by the year 2030. Kia are investing $2 billion into this development to stay on these targets.

    The technologies behind the Drive Wise brand are currently in the development stage. Designed to make driving safer for everyone, Drive Wise will enable Kia to “introduce intelligent safety technologies to its future model range, helping to eliminate potential dangers - and, for some, the tedium - of driving, while changing the ways in which owners interact with their vehicles.”


    • On display at CES 2016, Kia demonstrated Drive Wise technologies that include Highway Autonomous Driving, Urban Autonomous Driving, Preceding Vehicle Following, Emergency Stop System, Traffic Jam Assist and a new Autonomous Parking & Out function.

    o Highway Autonomous Driving (HAD) keeps a vehicle in its lane or passes other vehicles.
    o Urban Autonomous Driving (UAD) uses GPS and sensors to navigate the vehicle around city streets with live traffic updates.
    o Preceding Vehicle Following (PVF) monitors the vehicle in front and is basically an adaptive cruise control.
    o Emergency Stop System (ESS) monitors the driver’s attention, if their eyes deviate from the road for too long the car will automatically stop.
    o Traffic Jam Assist (TJA) monitors the vehicle in front during congested traffic conditions, basically a low-speed adaptive cruise control.
    o Autonomous Valet Parking will allow the driver to exit the car before the vehicle will park itself remotely, activated using the smart key or a smartwatch.

    In conclusion, the development of autonomous vehicles was the hot topic of CES 2016 amongst most car manufacturers, with most planning for full vehicle releases in 2020. Along with connectivity via cloud systems which will be designed to collect private information about your vehicle, in turn, this will enable the customer to receive a better and more personal experience. We are already beginning to experience the integration of smartphone technology in new vehicle models with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay or the SmartDeviceLink (SDL) platforms.

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