CES Las Vegas is new automotive walhalla
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has become a must for many car manufacturers. At the same time they stay away from classic motor shows. Is Las Vegas the new Motown?
Apart from the usual suspects like Samsung, Intel, Sony, Lenovo, Acer, etc. there are another bunch of exhibitors queuing to steal the show on this electronic grand mass: Mercedes, Audi, Nissan, Hyundai, Ford, Valeo, Faurecia, Bosch… in other words big players of the automotive industry.
More and more cars are loaded with electronic systems, for functioning as well as entertaining. Car manufacturers are closing in on the electronic giants and they’re interested to show off at their specific shows too.
A study of the Boston Consulting Group from the beginning of 2018 is expecting an exponential growth of onboard electronics in cars. The world market should represent 37 billion euro in 2025 and 67 billion ten years later. According to the same study, 13% of the cars will be (semi-)autonomous in 2025, growing to 25% in 2035.
Decline of the classic motor show
The success of the classic motor show, on the contrary, is waning. More and more manufacturers are not always present anymore at the classic show giants like Geneva, Detroit, Paris, Frankfurt… They prefer to pick some (when they have great news to announce) and to stay away for the rest of the time.
On the other hand, they want to show elsewhere what their future projects are, or they organize an event fully on their own, or they go to shows like the CES to compete in another playground. Hereafter we mention some news from automotive companies on that Consumer Electronics Show.
Developed by the Toyota Research Institute, the P4 research model is in fact a Lexus LS 500h that is able to drive semi-autonomously up to level 4. The car is literally filled with cameras and sensors to obtain such a high level and keep everything on the safe side.
On Tuesday we already mentioned the ‘Elevate’ concept, the car which not only drives but can also walk or climb. The Korean manufacturer is also showing its 2019 Santa Fe model, which has the particularity that the start/stop button can also read the fingerprint of the owner. Access is allowed by the same fingerprint scanner on the door handle. When the car has recognized you, all your individual settings will automatically be retrieved.
Proof of the importance that also prestigious manufacturers like Daimler attach to CES: the new small CLA SUV, an important model in the line-up, had his premiere in Las Vegas and not in Detroit or Geneva.
In Las Vegas Ford stresses the connectivity between cars as a very important element toward self-driving cars. With C-V2X the car can communicate with other cars as well as with the road infrastructure. The communication goes via the mobile network, the car also communicates with three coloured light signs. It will be a standard item on all Fords in the US as of 2022.
Nissan stresses at CES its electric engagement. First there is the Leaf E-Plus, a more powerful version of the recently launched Leaf with a 150 kW engine (instead of 110) and a 60 kWh battery capacity. Despite the stronger electric motor, this version has a range of 325 km instead of 270.
Apart from that, there is the very sporty Leaf Nismo RC on the CES stand, and the concept car, IMx Kuro, already shown in Geneva last March, the forebode of the coming electric SUV.
Original Equipment Manufacturer, Valeo, shows his XtraVue, a system for drivers who often tow trailers. With a system of cameras the XtraVue makes a trailer invisible during manoeuvres: you see where it is but you can look right through it. There are a lot of suppliers present at the CES, but we already talked about them in another article.
Last but not least, the power-bike brand ‘par excellence’, Harley Davidson, comes in Las Vegas with a brand new… electric bike. The ‘LiveWire’ distinguishes itself through its performance and… its price. 100 km/h are avhieved in less than 4 seconds, the price will be around 26.000 euro. With a 177 km range, the newborn can’t fully compete with the 250 km of some competitors.