For the past 50 years, the annual Consumer Electronics Show has been showcasing the latest, cutting edge products from the technology industry. As the automotive industry has come to rely on electronics for everything from engine management to active safety systems, consumers have come to expect big announcements for the auto industry as well as the tech industry during the show.
The self-driving car race reaches a fever pitch
Just a few short years ago, Google was the only company actively pursuing self-driving technology, but now they have ample competition. Tech companies such as Nvidia, Intel, AT&T, Samsung, and Harman are joining major auto brands such as Audi, BMW, Daimler, and Volvo in an attempt to bring the first viable self-driving vehicle to market.
BMW’s vision of the future looks relaxing
With the industry trending towards a fully-automated commuting experience, automakers are starting to think ahead about how to redesign interiors to maximize functionality. BMW’s i Inside Future sculpture imagines the interiors of our future vehicles will look and feel a lot like a modern, airy study, complete with bookshelf.
Not all companies are buying into an autonomous future
Although self-driving technology is the prevalent theme of this year’s show, not every company is on board. Toyota is taking a much more conservative approach, believing society has learned to accept a certain amount of traffic accidents due to human error, but will not accept a similar level of loss caused by machines. They believe we have many years of machine learning ahead of us before achieving an acceptable level of safety, and as such, will be producing regular-old human operated vehicles for many years to come.
Faraday Future announces first consumer electric vehicle
Automotive startup Faraday Future announced its first vehicle intended for consumer sales this year, which customers can already place a refundable $5,000 deposit on. However, the company needs to secure financing for a factory to develop the vehicles before the company truly gets off the ground. If successful, they could offer Tesla some healthy competition.