Driver Wellness, Gesture-Controlled Parking and Other Automotive Technology Highlights [CES 2016]
#CES2016 was the year of the car, and its increasing evolution toward a digital product
Car companies, both established and new were a major presence at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (Consumer Technology Show, CTS sounds better these days) The show featured debuts of new concept and production cars and technologies transforming the car interior into a medical bay or office space. In total there was a lot of news, so we’ve selected what we think are a few of the more notable stories to present here and get you caught up.
Fit Driver is a driver wellness project by Audi that links fitness wristband or smartwatch data with in-car sensors. The technology aims to reduce stress while driving by monitoring driver heart rate, skin temperature, breathing rate and environmental data such as traffic. The car can alter the interior temperature, activate the seat massager and adjust the infotainment system to help manage driver stress. The system can suggest appropriate rest breaks based on nearest location and level of traffic congestion, allowing the driver to relax instead of suffering through a highway backup.
BMW fitted their electric i3 with an automated parking feature activated by hand gestures. Gesture Control Parking allows an i3 to drive in and out of a space without anyone inside the car.
Light & Charge is an interesting idea for expanding electric vehicle charging points. Integrated into an LED illuminated light pole is a charging kiosk with a standardized plug. Users can pay with a cashless option of either a smartphone app or an RFID card.
Chevy unveiled the 2017 Bolt EV, the company’s first mass production all-electric vehicle. The Bolt is expected to have more than 200 miles of driving range on a single charge and cost around $30,000. Chevy says the Bolt could go 25 miles on an hour charge and fully recharge in nine hours with a 240v connection. The car will go on sale in late 2016.
Ford announced a partnership with Amazon Echo to explore how their in-car SYNC system could connect to home automation products to offer convenience benefits. Through voice commands to Alexa, owners could activate features in their car from inside their homes or vice versa. The system could have much more potential when paired with an electric vehicle which could use or return power to a home.
Harman collaborated with Microsoft on a digital in-car productivity system potentially for autonomous vehicles. Drivers and/or passengers can access Office 365 services on displays inside the car to schedule meetings, access email and make Skype calls. The project is the first time Microsoft has tailored an app for the connected car space and it aims to show the productivity potential of future vehicle interiors.
Kia announced their new sub-brand for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and autonomous vehicles would be called DRIVE WISE. Kia announced the approval from the State of Nevada to test autonomous Soul EV cars on public roads. This is part of Kia’s larger plan to introduce partially-autonomous driving technologies by 2020 and have fully-autonomous vehicles for sale by 2030.
Get the most out of this year’s CES with PSFK CES 2016 Guide, featuring the best booths and events, as well as daily schedules and recommendations. Check out our coverage on PSFK and head over to our SlideShare page to download the full guide.