CES which is now one of the world’s biggest auto shows as Ford to Uber debut new technology

Here’s a quick glance at some of the more intriguing transportation technology that found at the 2019 CES, which ends this Friday.

Flying Cars

With the way the roads in major cities are becoming clogged, Uber has decides to produce one of the more radical solutions to get people from Point A to Point B in a hurry. By 2023, it wants to launch a flying taxi service that would use craft like the Bell Nexus.

Bell CEO Mitch Snyder announced that the vision would solve transportation challenges in the vertical dimension in a craft that could give Uber wings.

Autonomous cars

And even if flying cars finally take to the skies, we don’t expect to see a world that looks like the one in the “Blade Runner” films so we won’t be abandoning four-wheeled vehicles anytime soon. Still, self-driving cars are clearly on the way and there have been a number of robotized vehicles on display at CES this year.

Almost hands-free

How soon completely driverless vehicles will arrive is another debated topic. Some think we would see the first of these in the next year or two. There are also plenty of prototypes already being tested.

The chief executive of Nissan North America, Denis Le Vot, acknowledged in an interview at CES that the time frame was a bit optimistic and that part of the reason for the delay is technical, while much of it is cost-related. He said the challenge revolved around the need to actually make the technology affordable.

Mercedes-Benz went a step further with the all-new 2020 CLA 250 sedan that made its debut in Las Vegas this week. The coupe-like looking sedan can operate hands-free under specific circumstances.

The CASE

While Tesla was a no-show this week, there were plenty of other start-ups that think they can break into the car business by introducing a mix of cutting-edge technologies known as C.A.S.E — connected, autonomous, shared and electrified vehicles.

A Chinese-funded start-up, Byron,  made a splash during the first day of CES by introducing its M-byte concept vehicle. It’s anchored by a 48-inch digital display that stretches from one door to another door across the top of the dashboard and will display everything from gauges to audio, navigation, climate and other information.

The battery-powered SUV and smaller K-byte sedan underscores major changes expected to reshape the auto industry. Fully electric with a 5G wireless to help it stay connected, it offers Level 3 autonomy — which is a fully hands-free but requires a back-up driver to take over in during an emergency. 

Hi, Google

The Byton vehicles are also introducing a feature called gesture control by voice with the use of the Amazon Alexa service. And a growing number of other automakers have begun integrating Alexa and rivals like Google Home and developing their own voice assistants, such as the updated MBUX Mercedes announced this week.

These systems are designed to be a lot more conversational than conventional with auto voice control systems that typically require a user to learn precise commands. Along the line, they even allow a certain degree of conversation between passengers and voice assistant.

Automakers plug in

Also making its world debut is the new Nissan Leaf Plus. The original hatchback which was launched in 2013, was the world’s first mainstream battery-electric vehicle that still remains the world’s best-selling BEV. But with competition from the new long-range models from players like Tesla, Mercedes, Chevrolet, Hyundai and Kia. The Nissan Leaf Plus is now designed to deliver 226 miles per charge, which is more than triple the range of the original version.

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