At CES every January, North Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center provides an early look at the in-car technologies that may become as common as cupholders and car stereos in the near future. It made for an exciting first day at CES, as Airfoil Senior Social Media Specialist Connor Grant and Editorial Director Tim Moynihan tackled the electric vehicles, flying taxis, and wildly reimagined car interiors that turned heads at the show.
In our day-one CES recap video, Connor and Tim pinpointed five big news highlights and trends in the mobility space. Watch the embedded video above to learn their insights on the following announcements.
- Ford and Qualcomm’s C-V2X (cellular vehicle-to-everything) partnership: For fully autonomous driving to mature, vehicles will need to communicate quickly and effectively with their surroundings. Ford announced it will use Qualcomm’s 9150 C-V2X chipset in its 2022 vehicle lineup to send and receive critical data at 5G speeds. The technology will allow vehicles to do things like automatically adjust speed based on upcoming traffic lights and pull over when an ambulance is coming through.
- The Bell Nexus flying limo: One of the biggest visual spectacles at the show was Bell’s prototype Nexus aircraft, a six-propellor vehicle that is able to take off vertically and then tilt those props to propel itself forward at speeds up to 150 mph. The hybrid-electric, four-passenger aircraft might just be your future Uber: Bell and Uber announced plans to launch a flying fleet within the next five years.
- Einride T-Pod autonomous electric cargo truck: While many of the autonomous vehicles you see at CES are prototypes, the Einride T-Pod electric cargo truck is already being used in Sweden. Getting behind the wheel isn’t even an option, as there’s no steering wheel or cockpit for human drivers. The T-Pod gets around 140 miles per charge, and when the battery runs low, it automatically goes and recharges itself like a Roomba.
- Etergo electric scooter: Netherlands-based Etergo has a beautiful battery-powered scooter with some clever tech integrations. Its retro-futuristic design looks classy, especially for its sub-$3,500 price point. The Etergo’s curved removable battery gets 150 miles of driving time per charge, and it comes with a shoulder strap for easy toting. Maps, music, and other features are handled by an integrated tablet on the handlebars, which syncs up to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
- Radical car interiors: Nearly every booth in North Hall had some sort of “the future of in-car interfaces” demo, but the ones from Audi and Mercedes were the most out-there. One Audi car offered a sleek, club-like lounge interior (and no steering wheel). Another Audi car had its hydraulics synced up to an internal movie theater, allowing the car to bob and tilt along with on-screen action. Meanwhile, Mercedes’s futuristic prototype had a video roulette wheel embedded in its ceiling. Long story short, everybody’s thinking about what riding in a car can be like when nobody needs to drive.
Want to learn more about the trends coming from this year's CES? Head on over to Airfoil’s CES 2019 insights page to get news, photos, and videos from the show floor in Las Vegas!