Future Mobility Innovations Take Centre stage at CES 2020

Future Mobility Innovations CES 2020 Mercedes-Benz VISION AVTR Sony VISION-S Audi Hyundai Land Rover Nissan Bosch Continental HERE Technologies Partnerships QuEST ZF
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CES 2020 brings about the showcase of mobility technologies that are for the future ahead, as well as those that are ready for market deployment

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 is currently being organised in Las Vegas, US, with a focus on new-age technologies that are set to become mainstream in the future. As with preceding editions of CES, this year’s event is also witnessing a whole range of technologies focussing on mobility solutions of the future. While traditional automotive OEMs and suppliers continue to showcase futuristic innovations at CES 2020, companies not generally affiliated with automotive directly have also demonstrated their solutions aimed at the mobility sector.

CES 2020 will see product exhibits from over 4,400 companies, including 1,200 start-ups, featuring the latest transformative technologies, including 5G, artificial intelligence, vehicle technology, digital health and much more. Innovations being showcased at CES 2020 display the drive and passion fuelling the industry and enhance economic growth on a global scale. Here are the key highlights of products and innovations unveiled by companies at this edition of CES.

PROTOTYPE HIGHLIGHTS

One of the most radical concept vehicles being showcased at CES 2020 is the Mercedes-Benz VISION AVTR, which provides a holistic vision of the company’s designers, engineers and trend researchers for mobility in the distant future. The concept vehicle has been developed in collaboration with the team that designed the AVATAR movie franchise and stands for ADVANCED VEHICLE TRANSFORMATION. The VISION AVTR prototype has been developed to show a completely new interaction between humans, machines, and nature.

The Mercedes-Benz VISION AVTR features a design language that fuses the disciplines of the interior, exterior and user experience (UX). The vehicle features a biometric connection between the vehicle and driver, with the use of a multifunctional control element in the centre console instead of a conventional steering wheel, enabling human and machine to merge. The interiors also offer an immersive experience, where occupants can choose between different vehicle functionalities using gestures.

The prototype comes across as a living creature, featuring 33 “bionic flaps” on the back, which mimic the scales of reptiles. They are said to be capable of communicating with the driver and through the driver with their outside world by means of naturally flowing movements in subtle gestures. Further, the front and rear axles have the capability of being driven in the same or opposite direction, enabling the VISION AVTR to move sideways by about 30° like a ‘crab movement,’ thereby giving it an animal-like appearance also for its motions.

The VISION AVTR concept vehicle uses a graphene-based organic cell chemistry battery technology that is completely clean of rare earths and metals. The materials of the battery are compostable and completely recyclable, making electric mobility independent of fossil resources. In addition, the VISION AVTR is manufactured using sustainable materials, some of which are seats refined by vegan DINAMICA leather and floor decorated with Karuun wood.

Another notable highlight at CES 2020 was the Sony VISION-S, which provides a glimpse of the company’s efforts in the area of mobility in pursuing safety, reliability, comfort, and entertainment. The first prototype vehicle to result from Sony’s VISION-S initiative is the electric vehicle concept. This prototype incorporates Sony's imaging and sensing technologies as well as on-board software regulated using the company’s AI, telecommunication and cloud technologies, in order to continuously update and evolve its features.

The EV concept VISION-S features a total of 33 sensors from Sony, including CMOS image sensors and ToF sensors that are embedded within the vehicle. These sensors detect and recognise people and objects, inside and outside the car, providing highly-advanced driving support. Furthermore, 360 Reality Audio from Sony provides a deep and immersive audio experience through speakers built into each seat of the concept vehicle. The interior dashboard of the vehicle features a panoramic screen, on which rich and diverse content can be enjoyed through an intuitive user interface.

OEM CORNER

Audi announced it is demonstrating futuristic vision vehicles to technologies ready for series production at the CES 2020. The main solutions being presented by Audi include the AI:ME as a personal mobility partner, Audi Intelligence Experience technology, and innovative 3D mixed reality head-up display. Audi AI:ME is a fully-automated personal ‘third living space,’ alongside homes and workplaces, which is familiar with the desires and needs of its users. It combines technologies like eye tracking, VR and virtual content display to offer users a relaxed mobility experience. The Audi Intelligence Experience includes an empathetic car that learns about its users and their habits, and then uses intelligent functions combined with AI to increase passengers’ safety, well-being, and comfort. In the future, the car will be able to conduct precise analysis of functions and settings that its user prefers, ranging from seat position, media, route guidance, and temperature to the interior fragrance.

The company also showcased its 3D mixed reality head-up display, where a feature includes a navigation arrow pointing exactly into the side road where the destination is located. While this feature will become a reality in an exhibit in 2020, Audi is presenting this new technology it developed in cooperation with Samsung at CES. Just like with a 3D television, where two views are generated of each picture, the pictures of the 3D mixed reality head-up display appear to the driver to be floating at a distance of 8-10 meters. Audi believes the future of the automobile is fully electric and intelligently-connected, with the third-generation of its modular infotainment platform (MIB 3) being the core. Audi is also presenting the latest innovations in the area of lighting technology under the ‘Human-Centric Lighting’ project that illustrates the way feelings can be influenced by targeted light colours.

Hyundai Motor showcased a model of the S-A1, which is an electrically-powered ‘Personal Air Vehicle’ (PAV) capable of carrying up to four passengers, in addition to its Purpose-Built Vehicle (PBV). It also demonstrated the Hub, which is Take off/Landing point for PAVs and arrival/departure point for PBVs, and a place for community activities. The PAV is part of the Urban Air Mobility landscape, with the use of airspace expected to mitigate road congestion and giving back quality time to city commuters. Meanwhile, the PBV is a highly-customisable concept with the autonomous driving feature that allows for varied possibilities of turning the vehicle to be more than just a means of transportation.

Land Rover announced that showcase of its new Defender SUV being the first-ever vehicle to feature dual eSIM connectivity, at CES 2020. The new Land Rover Defender 90 and 110 feature world-first twin embedded LTE modem connectivity, dual eSIM design for enhanced connectivity and functionality. The modem is powered by two Qualcomm Snapdragon 820Am Automotive Platforms, each with an integrated Snapdragon X12 modem. The two LTE modems enable the new Defender to download Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) updates on the move without interruption, and while streaming music and apps through its Pivi Pro infotainment system.

Nissan is showcasing the Ariya Concept EV crossover, in addition to a zero-emission ice cream van, the Formula E race car and LEAF e+ EV. The Nissan Ariya Concept brings together advanced technologies such as ProPILOT 2.0 advanced driver assistance system, twin-motor all-wheel-control system, acoustic meta-material, and Smart Route Planner on an all-new EV platform. Meanwhile, the zero-emission ice cream van combines an all-electric drivetrain, second-life battery storage, and renewable solar energy generation. The electric van’s motor is driven by a 40 kWh battery and features a portable power pack, which uses lithium-ion cells recovered from early first-generation Nissan electric vehicles, to power on-board equipment.

SUPPLIERS GALORE

Automotive components supplier Bosch is presenting intelligent technologies and connected products for mobility and the home at the CES 2020. Highlights of Bosch solutions presented at the trade fair include solutions that either make use of AI, or have been developed the help of AI. Bosch showcased its CES 2020 Innovation awards-winning solutions for its Virtual Visor and cockpit 3D display. The world-first virtual visor is a transparent digital sun visor, which features a transparent LCD display that replaces opaque visors. The virtual visor is connected to the interior monitoring camera, which detects the position of the driver’s eyes and uses algorithms to darken only the portion of the windshield through which the sun or other light sources dazzle the driver. The rest remains transparent, leaving the driver’s view of the road unobstructed.

Meanwhile, the 3D display from Bosch uses the passive 3D technology to generate a realistic three-dimensional effect for images and warning signals. It allows visual information to be grasped faster than when displayed on conventional screens, reducing driver distraction. This display system comes with spatial depth and works completely without additional features such as eye-tracking or 3D glasses. Other technologies showcased by Bosch include vehicle interior monitoring; intelligent front camera; Lidar and Radar sensors; Automated valet parking; Vehicle electronics architecture; Smartphone car key; Fuel-cell system; EV rolling chassis; E-axle and Connected e-bike.

Mobility is the heartbeat of life, said Continental as it showcased various solutions at CES 2020 in terms of safety, convenience, entertainment. The ‘transparent hood’ technology showcased is the first to be released on the market worldwide, and is based on Continental’s Surround View system, which consists of four satellite cameras and an electronic control unit. An intelligent image processing algorithm reconstructs the image below the vehicle and inserts this image exactly into the surround-view displayed to the driver. Other solutions displayed at CES 202 included ultra-wideband technology for keyless vehicle access, natural 3D Centre stack display for 3D experience without special glasses, loudspeaker-free Ac2ated Sound system, automotive cyber-security and modular, scalable contact sensor to detect scratches and damages.

A company that has formed numerous partnerships in the backdrop of CES 2020 is HERE Technologies. The mapping and navigation technologies provider has formed these partnerships to address the various issues of its partners to improve their concerns of mapping and navigation. HERE formed collaborations with companies such as Mitsubishi Corporation, Global Weather Corporation, Bentley Systems, Geopath, Bose, and multiple urban mobility transit solution providers. The company also introduces a neutral server for safer and secure third-party access, HD GNSS precise global positioning solution for mass-market, Last Mile for urban delivery and 3D road models for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and driver safety.

Product engineering and lifecycle services partner QuEST Global launched a solution accelerator for the development of AI applications using deep learning at CES 2020. The company aims to automate the development process of computer vision applications as well as improve productivity and efficiencies of Data Engineers, Data Scientists, and Data Analysts. The solution developed has been designed to automate key operations of model development workflow like data labelling, data augmentation, and cross-validation.

ZF is presenting automated and autonomous driving technologies for a wide range of applications at CES 2020, showcasing Level 2+ and Level 4 innovations progressing towards full automation. The company is also moving towards comprehensive software development along with Microsoft, where it plans to adapt the speed and quality of its processes, methods, and solutions in software engineering to the level of major IT companies.

ROUND-UP

From the various innovations being showcased by OEMs as well as suppliers – components and engineering services, it is clear that CES 2020 has been another edition that has a high level of automotive/mobility content. The advanced solutions and technologies showcased display the advancements taking place around mobility by traditional players as well as newcomers into the industry. CES 2020 also witnessed technologies between mobility and other areas blurring to form connected applications between infrastructure, transportation, and personal devices.

Naveen Arul
Author: Naveen Arul
As a Principal Correspondent based out of Bengaluru, Naveen has been covering the southern and western regions of the country for development of editorial content for the magazine, as well as website. Passionate about automobiles (two- and four-wheelers) from a very young age, Naveen has had the opportunity to learn and write about technologies in this sphere ever since he joined ATR in 2013. His personal interests predominantly revolve around learning mechanical aspects of any system and trying to work on them himself. He tweets @naveenarul