The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas sees some of the biggest names in technology showcasing their new and upcoming designs. From Smartphones, to robotics and even clothing, the innovative tech on display is often a tantalising insight into what we could see in shops in the coming months.
Several of the biggest names in car manufacture have also been involved in this event. Established brands including Ford, Mercedes and Audi have been exhibiting some of the new technologies that could be within their cars this year. Some manufacturers used this as an opportunity to demonstrate the latest developments with their driverless vehicles.
Luxury Autonomous Driving
Mercedes revealed their latest prototype, the electrically powered, ‘F 015 Luxury in Motion’ saloon car, which as the name suggests, is attempting to provide its passengers with a mixture of comfort and autonomous driving. The vehicle’s interior sees four individual armchair-like seats within the cabin, which can be rotated to face one another or be set out in a more typical front-facing style. Further to this, there is a central communications hub complete with six screens where passengers can connect their smart-devices and control parts of the vehicle.
The rather space-age aspects were the biggest spectacle with this car, but in terms of the actual tech involved with the self-driving features, Mercedes didn’t offer audiences any new or updated information.
‘Ford Smart Mobility’ Initiative
During a keynote speech at the Ford exhibition, Ford CEO Mark Fields told audience members of the ‘Ford Smart Mobility’ initiative. The intention behind this being to gain an understanding of what the world’s future driving needs could involve based on existing trends. Fields said:
‘We see a world where vehicles talk to one another, drivers and vehicles communicate with the city infrastructure to relieve congestion, and people routinely share vehicles or multiple forms of transportation for their daily commute…The experiments we’re undertaking today will lead to an all-new model of transportation and mobility within the next 10 years and beyond.’
An update to the on-board computer systems in their vehicles was also presented. The new ‘SYNC3’ will replace the old ‘SYNC2’ system with improvements being made to the user-interface, the speech recognition feature and its smartphone connectivity.
While much of these technologies are quite impressive to behold, it is still important to remember that no vehicle is going to be 100% reliable. If and when these cars are released, a sensible option is to still invest in things like breakdown cover, despite the apparent luxury and easy driving on offer.