CES 2017 – Automotive Technologies At The Forefront

Written by  Naveen Arul
BMW HoloActive Touch
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 is being organised from 5-8 January, 2017 at Las Vegas, US, and as always, the focus is on the latest global electronic trends and technologies. Following the event last year, this year too is expected to offer visitors a wide range of innovations from the automotive sector. The most conspicuous theme from both OEMs, as well as component suppliers is that of Autonomous Driving and the technologies that assist it.
The event will see over 850 new exhibitors, which will include a number of companies from the automotive arena, with an expanded Self-Driving Technology marketplace, as well. Companies will be displaying their autonomous driving technologies, in the form of concept vehicles, as well as demonstrations of gadgets that support self-driving. Component suppliers have announced that they will showcase technologies such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), vision systems and others that complement autonomous driving.
The BMW Group said it would be providing consumers with a glimpse into the future of interiors. It is debuting its BMW HoloActive Touch system, which is an interface between the driver and vehicle that acts like a virtual touchscreen. The system has a free-floating display that is operated using finger gestures and confirms commands with what the driver perceives as tactile feedback, the company said. The BMW HoloActive Touch is said to bring together advantages of BMW’s Head-Up Display (HUD), gesture control and direct touchscreen operation, and adds extra features to create a unique form of user interface. The system utilises a camera that detects the driver’s hand movements within the ergonomically user-friendly area, and registers the position of their fingertips, in particular. As soon as a fingertip makes contact with one of these virtual control surfaces, a pulse is emitted and the relevant function is activated.
Mercedes-Benz is demonstrating technologies at CES 2017 with the focus being on its CASE corporate strategy CASE, which links connectivity (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared) and electric drive systems (Electric). The automaker’s innovations will link the megatrends of networking, autonomous driving, flexible usage models and electric drive systems. Under CASE, Mercedes-Benz will present the Concept EQ and the Mercedes-Benz Vision Van at the event. With the Concept EQ, which has the appearance of a sporty SUV crossover, the company provides a view of a new vehicle generation with battery electric drive. The Vision Van for urban use on the other hand combines innovative technologies for ‘last mile’ deliveries in an integrated system. Mercedes-Benz is also set to demonstrate the next steps on the road to developing the cognitive car, that shows how society's growing health consciousness can be combined with future mobility.
Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ
CES will see Honda showcasing its vision of a redefined mobility experience, with the unveil of its concepts on urban mobility, artificial intelligence, and robotics. These concepts are expected to offer solutions for reducing traffic congestion to creating new modes of in-car connectivity. Added to this, Toyota will present a new concept vehicle at the CES 2017, which has been produced by the Calty design centre in California. The vehicle will highlight the importance of User Experience (UX) in the development of highly automated vehicles and robots, the company noted. Toyota’s next generation framework for connected vehicles and telematics systems will also be introduced at the event.
Fiat Chrysler will display its new UConnect 4 infotainment system, UConnect theater and UConnect Access App for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid at CES 2017. The company said that UConnect 4 builds on the third-generation UConnect system. It now features a faster startup time, enhanced processing power, new 8.4-inch touch screen with touch gestures, sharper graphics and smart phone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Meanwhile, the UConnect Theater system, which is available in the Pacifica minivan, offers rear-seat entertainment for passengers with two 10-inch touch screens. The company will also demonstrate various Pacifica Hybrid-exclusive technologies, such as UConnect system with ‘Hybrid Electric Pages’ that relays information related to power flow, driving history and charge scheduling. FCA added that the system’s UConnect Access app also allows users to check their vehicle’s state of charge range and estimated recharge time from their smartphone or tablet.
The electronic show will have Hyundai Motor Company showcasing its vision for future mobility with autonomous IONIQ concepts demonstrating self-driving technology, hyper-connected car platform, as well as wearable robots, micro-mobility solutions   and interactive, health-conscious technology. The company’s hyper-connected car platform, which was developed with Cisco, will show how Smart House and Connected Car technologies will blur the lines between mobility, and living and working spaces. Hyundai’s Healthcare Cockpit connects car and driver to boost productivity or relaxation when travelling.
Volkswagen (VW) will debut its Interactive Volkswagen APP, which is set to be the key to a personalised digital experience, and is available now at the App Store and at Google Play. Visitors can create their own VW User-ID to use the show app at the VW booth to experience how human, vehicle and environment in the future, will be intelligently interconnected in the Volkswagen Ecosystem. This app will make it easy for users to configure personal settings, integrate any services from third-party sources and port them wherever desired, regardless of which VW model they step into. VW also said that it is offering a look at future intuitive controls that go beyond touch and gesture control, through its I.D. concept car at CES.
Volkswagen App
An automotive company making its debut at CES 2017 is Nissan Motor Company, with its Intelligent Mobility solutions. Nissan Intelligent Mobility is said to encompass three core areas of innovation that inspire how the company’s cars are powered, driven, and integrated into society. Nissan Intelligent Driving gives customers more confidence through increased safety, control, and comfort, while Intelligent Power makes driving cleaner and more efficient, and finally Intelligent Integration links cars to the wider society.
Global automotive supplier Delphi Automotive, along with Mobileye will conduct what is claimed to be the most complex, real-world demonstration of automated driving at CES 2017. The 6.3-mile drive will cover a route combining urban and highway roads, and will showcase Delphi and Mobileye’s Centralized Sensing Localisation and Planning (CSLP) automated driving system, which will be ready for production by 2019. The Las Vegas drive will tackle everyday driving challenges such as highway merges, congested city streets with pedestrians and cyclists and a tunnel, noted Delphi. The other technologies that Delphi will showcase at CES include 48-volt mild hybrid solutions, improved Multi-layer display (MLD), and first-to-market vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology that enables cars to talk to each other. 
Renesas Electronics Corporation, microcontrollers and highly-advanced automotive semiconductor solutions provider, will be displaying solutions that enhance autonomous driving. Besides this, the company will also allow visitors to experience its fully-functional autonomous vehicle. The company said that it continues to carry out development into low power consumption solutions for computer vision and sensors, with the main objective this year being on studying functional safety. Additionally, Renesas and QNX will also showcase infotainment solutions at CES 2017.
CES 2017 will see NXP displaying demonstrations for secure IoT, secure connected vehicles, secure homes, secure mobile payments and others. For the first time, NXP is showcasing an ADAS demo at the Autonomous Vehicle Marketplace. In line with the theme, Navya introduces its fully-autonomous Navya Arma shuttle at the event. Navya Arma is a driverless and electric public transport vehicle that can carry up to 15 passengers, designed to ensure specific functions of autonomous vehicles, while optimising on navigation and safety. The shuttle is equipped with a range of sensor technologies to provide 3D vision to help it map out the environment, detect obstacles in its path and identify traffic and road signs.
Tata Elxsi will be showcasing advanced automotive technology solutions that are driven by emerging industry requirements for cyber-security, safety, comfort and user experience at CES 2017. The company is also showing its industry-first AUTOSAR 4.2.x tool chain running on Linux and Windows operating systems. Its solutions are around the areas of autonomous vehicle, connected infotainment, automation, IoT and artificial intelligence. They include advanced autonomous vehicle middleware platform, with deep learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities that have been designed to help OEMs and system suppliers build, test and deploy customisable autonomous vehicle applications. The next technology is a connected cockpit software solution that integrates the instrument cluster, head unit, HUD and ADAS on a single system-on-chip. Tata Elxsi is also showcasing a full suite of test automation solutions for in-vehicle infotainment and ADAS.
Autoliv Inc has announced that it will launch a learning, intelligent vehicle (LIV) system, which has been developed to facilitate collaboration and shared control between the driver and vehicle at the event. Autoliv Research is said to have developed this system in order to attain trust and facilitate required safety in autonomous driving. The company noted that the first version of LIV makes use of AI technology, while future versions will incorporate on-line and off-line machine learning. The company will also showcase its solutions for vision systems, radars and sensors, and ADAS.
Continental CES 2017 In-vehicle Biometrics
CES will witness international automotive components supplier Continental showcasing products and services representing its interpretation of the digitalisation of the automotive world. The solutions will be in the areas of in-vehicle biometrics, entertainment, eHorizon for motorcycles, Intelligent Glass Control, 3D display surface, automated driving sensor and control unit, and Zonar fleet management. In line with this, NVIDIA will be unveiling solutions in the areas of Deep Learning, AI, self-driving cars, virtual reality and gaming.
From the innovations that the companies will be demonstrating at CES 2017, it is clear that autonomous driving, connected vehicles, and drive assistance systems are the core topics of interest. The rate at which innovations concerning autonomous driving are being developed shows that these technologies are moving from being concepts to actually being offered to consumers at a very rapid rate. It can also be seen that component and technology suppliers are on par with OEMs on the level of research being put into new and upcoming technologies and innovations.
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