CES 2016, one of the premier events for the automotive industry to showcase their latest innovations, has come to an end.
Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess showed only electric vehicles, namely the eGolf Touch (with a focus on a 9.2-inch touchscreen, gesture control and wireless charging) and the expected BUDD-e microbus concept, which is built on the new MEB platform with an estimated electric range of well over 300 miles. He underlined that this is the first car in the Internet of Things.
BMW presented its electric vehicles and the iVision Future interaction concept with an all-new Infotainment dashboard featuring AirTouch gestures. It also introduced the BMW cloud, a platform to integrate the owner’s car with her home and a broad range of personal information. A demo featured a smart home that’s integrated with an i3 and driverless parking triggered by an Apple Watch.
Audi demonstrated the already-known e-tron quattro concept as well as an all-new AMOLED-based touch dashboard. EVP Ricky Hudi presented the new zFAS computing unit for automated driving powered by Nvidia chips, and announced a partnership with Qualcomm (integrating the Snapdragon chip to drive the Infotainment unit).
The highlight of the show was undoubtedly the unveiling of the Chevy Bolt EV by GM CEO Mary Barra. The EV features an all-electric drivetrain on a new GM EV Platform with 200 miles of range and a sticker price of only 30.000 $ (after tax incentives). It comes with a 10’’ touch display and tight integration with the OnStar ecosystem. It will enter series production this year.
Toyota announced the Toyota Research Institute, headed by Robotics Guru Dr. Gill Pratt and funded with 1bn $. Kia promised to bring automated driving into entry level vehicles and showed the autonomous Soul concept through a virtual ride with Oculus Rift headsets.
The awaited concept car FFZero1 by Faraday Future disappointed us somewhat. Although they pledged to be building a variable platform architecture, which can accommodate a broad range of EVs, we have expected to see something very different.
We were surprised by the dominance of Mobileye in the automated driving space. Volkswagen and GM both announced partnerships with them officially. Over a dozen OEMs now have already integrated Mobileye’s technologies for automated driving to some extent.