The mecca of electronics, Consumer Electronic Show 2020, is currently underway at Las Vegas right now. Numerous companies are showcasing some of the coolest techs they have to offer and since the past few years, it won’t be incorrect to say that CES has partially turned into a car show.
This year too, there are various car manufacturers at the event showcasing their latest automobiles, almost all of them being Electric Vehicles. While some of these EVs will soon go up for purchase, many companies have revealed some whacky concepts as well. Here’s a quick roundup of the most notable auto tech showcased at CES 2020.
BMW i3 Urban Suite
It’s natural for someone to think of a limousine or a big SUV when we talk about luxury mobility solutions. However, BMW is changing the game with its ultra-compact BMW i3 Urban Suite concept, which is being showcased at CES 2020. The company tweaked its i3 electric car by replacing the front passenger seat with a foot-rest, and one of the rear seats with a table on which a lamp rests. BMW calls it ’Urban Suite’ interior. There’s still a driver’s seat and a dashboard, which remains unchanged. The car maker has also deployed some of these cars in Las Vegas, which can be hailed via an app.
The Swiss concept-car maker Rinspeed unveiled its MetroSnap concept at the Consumer Electronics Show this week. The futuristic public transport envisions to solve the problem of downtime with public transport by implementing a “skateboard” layout in which the battery is housed in the floor. This layout enables low center of gravity by distributing the mass and density around the entire platform. The MetroSnap concept is an EV with a modular design that consists of various pods and the skateboard platform.
Mercedes Vision AVTR
Inspired by James Cameron’s 2009 hit sci-fi movie Avatar, Mercedes unveiled the Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR (Advanced Vehicle Transformation) concept car. Unveiled at CES 2020, the new concept car is heavily inspired by some of the elements shown in the movie. The car seats, dash, and the floorboard is built out of recycled materials and wood that is sustainably harvested from roots found in the Amazon rainforest.
There’s no steering wheel and placing your hand on central controller reads your pulse. The car’s exterior mimics breathing natural lights of pandora and there are 33 multi-functional flaps on the rear that add to aesthetics and aid in aerodynamics.
While Audi didn’t announce any futuristic concept cars at CES 2020, the company did unveil an “empathetic mobility partner.” Called Audi AI:ME, this service intends to turn a standard car into an empathetic car that passengers can communicate with using eye tracking tech. Additionally, they can also avail a wellness experience as a pair of VR goggles in the car will enable taking virtual flight across landscapes. The technology also adapts virtual content to the movements of the vehicle in real-time.
The car’s navigation system is said to be self-learning and is already integrated in the current generation of the MMI systems. “It saves preferred destinations, connects them with the date, time, and current traffic situation, and derives suggested routes from this data,” says Audi in a media release.
We weren’t expecting Sony to unveil a new car at the event, but the company did announce one as a concept. The Vision-S is a new sedan EV from Sony that features highly advanced autonomous driving system and a design that will surely turn heads. Much of the vehicles design elements gives an impression of being inspired by the Porsche Panamera saloon. Sony developed the Vision-S in collaboration with Nvidia, Bosch, Continental, Qualcomm and ZF.
While Sony didn’t delve into the details about the car, it did say that the Vision-S comes equipped with a pair of 268-horsepower (200-kilowatt) electric motors. These motors should enable the car to go from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in a mere 4.8 seconds, and deliver a top speed of 149 mph (240 km/h).
There are also 33 sensors to detect people and objects both outside and inside the car. The interior consists of a modern four-seat cabin with individual rear seats and giant glass roof. Sony developed the Vision-S with Magna Steyr – manufacturers of the Toyota Supra, BMW Z4, Mercedes G-Class – for the car’s platform.
Hyundai Elevate can be counted as one of the most interesting EV concepts showcased at the CES 2020. Hyundai showcased an Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV) of the future whose wheels are attached with robotic legs. The concept showcases how the vehicle can traverse almost any terrain and can be the ultimate rescue vehicle. With integrated propulsion motors and five degrees of freedom, Hyundai says Elevate can serve multiple purposes and also act as a viable solution for disabled people in areas devoid of ramps.
There’s no dearth of electric SUVs in the market and Tesla is the primary competition for almost everyone in this segment. Fisker, however, has a new idea for selling its brand new Ocean EV SUV. This new Tesla rival features California Mode wherein press one button and all the windows of the car, nine in total, drop down.
The EV is touted to deliver up to 300 miles of range, along with an optional solar roof that can potentially deliver 1000 miles of solar powered driving in a year. Fisker has also teamed up with Electrify America so that its consumers can charge their vehicles at over 370 charging stations for free. With app-enabled leasing, the company will also offer the Fisker Ocean for as short a period as one month. However, the EV is comparatively affordable with a starting price of $37,500 (€33,753 approx).
Most electric vehicles pitch their range, charging time or some other similar feature at launch. While the Byton-M-Byte also announced all of the aforementioned elements, the EV draws attention with a 48-inch screen that sits in-front of the dashboard. The company calls the large screen as a Shared Experience Display” (SED) and says that it doesn’t fall in the driver’s line of sight.
As if the main display wasn’t enough, there’s a smaller secondary display smack dab in the middle of the steering wheel, along with seven additional displays that are distributed within the car. While the launch model of the M-Byte supports level 2 autonomy, the company is working to enable level 3 autonomy as well.
Faraday Future has to be one of the most interesting EV announcements made at CES 2020. The souped up electric car is capable of going 0-60mph in mere 2.3 seconds with its electric drivetrain that is capable of churning out 1,050-horsepower. The company claims its car can deliver over 300 miles of range in a single full charge. The lithium-ion battery cells used on the cars are touted to feature the world’s highest energy density cells, which is about double that of a production automotive battery.
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