The automotive sector will take advantage of the consumer electronics fair in Las Vegas, CES, which begins today to demonstrate its capacity for technological innovation with the presentation of its latest developments, such as the advances in autonomous driving.
Each year, CES, a fair dominated by news in the world of televisions, video games and mobile phones, gains more weight in the automotive sector, which is opting to show its technological muscle in Las Vegas instead of the more traditional car show of Detroit, which starts in mid-January.
And this year, the trend accelerates at the same time that the marriage between Detroit and Silicon Valley, the technological heart of the United States, deepens.
One of the best examples is the relationship of Aurora Innovation, a company installed in Palo Alto (California) with the German group Volkswagen and the South Korean Hyundai.
Shortly before today’s start of the CES 2018 media conference, Volkswagen (VW) announced a “strategic collaboration” agreement with Aurora Innovation, one of the leading companies in the design of hardware and software for autonomous driving.
Although VW has now revealed the agreement with Aurora Innovation, the German company has already been working with the Palo Alto company’s engineers for six months to integrate the US company’s system, including sensors, hardware and software, into its vehicle platforms.
The final goal of the agreement, which will be displayed these days at CES 2018, is to create autonomous electric vehicles for urban centers that resolves everyone’s mobility, including, as explained by VW, “children, the elderly, the sick and people with vision problems” .
In parallel, Hyundai has reached a similar agreement with Aurora Innovation to enable the South Korean brand to commercialize autonomous vehicles in 2021.
This will allow Hyundai to incorporate Aurora Innovation’s technology into its vehicles, “starting with models specifically designed and launched in test programs in pilot cities.”
The first example of the collaboration will be presented tomorrow at CES 2018. Hyundai will reveal a new fuel cell electric vehicle, whose name has not yet been released, which incorporates the autonomous driving technology of the Silicon Valley company.
The vehicle, in the shape of an SUV SUV, incorporates the latest generation of Hyundai fuel cell technology that will help the South Korean brand “to fulfill its vision of providing clean mobility to the world.”
Another Asian manufacturer that will show its technological capacity at CES 2018 is Toyota.
The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) shows at CES 2018 its Platform 3.0 mounted on the body of a Lexus LS 600hL.
The CEO of TRI, Gill Pratt, pointed out that with Platform 3.0 the team “once again has rapidly improved the capabilities of autonomous vehicle research” with a platform that “has the potential to be a benchmark in function and style ”
Platform 3.0 incorporates a sensor package that includes a Lidar system (a laser sensor that measures distances) Luminar with a range of 200 meters that now covers a 360-degree perimeter around the vehicle, when before it could only concentrate on the front area.
In addition to this long-range Lidar, Platform 3.0 has other shorter-range sensors on all four sides of the vehicle that can detect small, low-profile objects, such as children or obstacles on the road.
Toyota explained that vehicles with Platform 3.0 that exhibits at CES 2018 will begin to be produced this spring using Lexus LS models to be used in real-world testing.
CES 2018 will also help other manufacturers to show more traditional vehicles. Jeep, the all-terrain specialist of the Fiat Chrysler group, exhibits the new Wrangler 2018 that incorporates state-of-the-art technologies such as the fourth-generation Uconnect system with an 8.4-inch screen and 4G LTE connectivity.
South Korean brand Kia also arrives at CES 2018 with a fully electric version of the Niro model, which incorporates a completely new human-machine interface (HMI).
Kia will also reveal its plans to incorporate autonomous vehicles into its portfolio with the progressive introduction of driver assistance technologies.
And at CES 2018, Nissan presents a “brain-to-vehicle” system (B2V) that reads brain waves to predict when the driver is going to make a movement, which allows preparing assistance technologies for driving vehicles to perform actions.