A prominent and highly influential global tech event CES, acronym for Consumer Electronics Show, is taking place in Nevada’s Las Vegas this year. A five day-affair, that kicked off January 9 and will end January 12, happens each year. Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association, CES brings together the biggest names in the technology sector who showcase new products and innovations, offering a glimpse into the future of technological advancement.
From artificial intelligence to blockchain to robotics and vehicle tech, exhibitors at CES feature products from all facets of the consumer technology industry. In this article we are confining ourselves to the latest auto announcements at CES 2024. Let’s delve, shall we?
Mercedes Gets Personal: AI, NFTs, & Your Next Soundtrack on Wheels
At CES 2024, Mercedes-Benz isn’t just showing off new cars, it’s unveiling a radical vision for your future ride. Imagine an AI assistant that knows your mood and adjusts the music accordingly, where in-car entertainment includes high-octane gaming and immersive Audible movies, and your steering wheel doubles as a DJ booth thanks to will.i.am’s innovative Sound Drive.
Well Mercedes-Benz read your mind and showcased the MBUX Virtual Assistant, powered by generative AI and advanced 3D graphics, designed to provide a more natural and intuitive interaction between the vehicle and its users. This assistant is part of the new MB.OS, an in-house operating system supporting a variety of in-car applications. The company also introduced the MBUX SOUND DRIVE in collaboration with will.i.am, offering an innovative in-car music experience. Additionally, partnerships with Audible and Amazon Music will bring audio storytelling into Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Alongside this, the company is also venturing into in-car gaming with partnerships like Antstream Arcade, bringing retro games streaming into vehicles.
VW Gets Chatty: ChatGPT Integrates with Cars for Conversational Rides
Volkswagen is bringing advanced conversation to your car ride with the integration of ChatGPT, the popular AI chatbot, into its voice assistant IDA. This feature, revealed at CES 2024, will be available in select models in North America and Europe from the second quarter of the year. Developed in partnership with Cerence Inc., this integration allows IDA to perform a range of tasks like controlling infotainment, navigation, and air conditioning systems, as well as responding to general knowledge queries.
No more fumbling with buttons or menus. Ask IDA to adjust the temperature, find restaurants, answer questions, and even engage in casual conversation. This seamless integration goes beyond basic voice commands, leveraging ChatGPT’s vast knowledge base to deliver informative and engaging responses. Volkswagen, at the same time, prioritizes security and user convenience with this integration and says that ChatGPT does not store vehicle data or user queries. So, buckle up and get ready to chat with your VW!
Say Goodbye to One-Size-Fits-All: Kia’s PBV Lets You Choose Your Vehicle Adventure
Kia Motors has taken a significant leap in vehicle innovation with their “Platform Beyond Vehicle” (PBV), unveiled at CES 2024. This cute new lineup of modular electric vehicles (EVs), still in the concept phase, focuses on catering to diverse business needs, including ride-hailing and delivery services. The first vehicle to be built on the PBV platform is the Kia PV5, which is a three-row van designed for business use. It has a futuristic design and is reported to hit the road in 2025. Kia also showed renders of a larger version (the PV7) reportedly due in 2027 and a smaller, more smart car-sized option (the PV1).
The PBV platform is modular, allowing businesses to customize their vehicles to meet their specific needs. For example, a delivery company could use a PV5 with a cargo box, while a ride-hailing company could use a PV5 with a passenger cabin. Additionally, Kia’s robotaxi version of the PV5 could come in 2028. The company is building a dedicated plant in South Korea to make PBV vehicles, TechCrunch reported. The plant is expected to be operational in 2025 and will have an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles. Kia expects to eventually increase production to 300,000 vehicles annually.
Sony Drives Afeela EV with a PlayStation Controller: Hype or Innovation?
???? Sony Honda Mobility’s ‘Afeela’ prototype was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The company claims its multiple sensors can monitor traffic and provide support while highlighting its immersive entertainment experience with games and movies #CES2024 pic.twitter.com/xCZqhp64Fa
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 9, 2024
Sony’s partnership with Honda on the Afeela EV concept car isn’t new, but their CES 2024 reveal took an unexpected turn. Izumi Kawanishi, president of the joint venture, drove the Afeela on stage not with a steering wheel, but a PlayStation DualSense controller. The Afeela, initially described with specifications like a 400kW dual-motor and top speeds of 240km/h, is edging closer to reality. Despite the controller-based driving being just a tech demo, it symbolizes Sony’s vision for the future of mobility, intertwining the real and virtual worlds.
One significant real feature of the Afeela is its use of Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5.3 to power its 3D graphics. This technology brings to life the car’s ultrawide dashboard display, offering drivers and passengers immersive experiences like detailed 3D maps and augmented reality views. While details like price and exact release date remain elusive, the Afeela is expected to hit the road in 2026. Whether the controller stunt foreshadows innovative in-car controls or was merely a flashy demo remains to be seen, but one thing’s clear: Sony Honda Mobility is aiming to revolutionize the driving experience.
Lamborghini Tracks Your Thrills – All the Way to Your Pulse
Lamborghini, at CES 2024 in Las Vegas, unveiled a new system called Telemetry X that will allow drivers to track their performance on the racetrack in real time, using biometric data like heart rate and stress level. The system will also provide feedback from a remote coach and a proactive voice assistant. Key components of Telemetry X, which is still in the concept stage, include the Remote Garage, Biometric Data System, and Digital Co-Pilot.
Remote Garage utilizes 5G technology for live coaching. It transmits real-time footage, images, and data to a remote coach, who can provide instant feedback and tips to improve track performance. The Biometric Data System, on the other hand, can track the driver’s heart rate, stress level, and other physiological indicators. This data can be used to help the driver understand how their body is reacting to the stress of driving on a racetrack. Complementing these systems is the Digital Co-Pilot, a proactive voice assistant that analyzes lap times, racing lines, and braking points. By comparing biometric and vehicle data, it provides real-time feedback for on-track improvements.
Lamborghini is planning to introduce its first hybrid sports car this year, followed by its first all-electric car in 2028. It is likely that Telemetry X will be available on these new models.