CES 2016 is underway in Las Vegas, providing an exciting opportunity for tech leaders to out-buzzword each other in their keynotes.
The beginning weekend of CES was focussed firmly on the automotive industry – not just on the vehicles themselves but the myriad of devices and systems that will power them. Hyundai showed off its augmented reality owner’s manual app – an idea Audi flirted with back in 2013. Volkswagen said it was very sorry about everything and unveiled an electric car called Budd-e. Ford talked about its variety of smart mobility initiatives (including an expanded fleet of autonomous R&D vehicles, a home-grown car operating system and partnership with Amazon), Volvo announced a partnership with Ericsson to beam Netflix to your self-driving car, and Nvidia presented a supercomputer to provide the massive amount of processing power automated vehicles need.
The best example of the ongoing awkward nuptials between Silicon Valley and the automotive industry was the Faraday Future keynote, a secretive startup you may have heard whispers of before. Along with unveiling its 1000-horsepower electric concept car, FF spoke about its plan to revolutionise the mobility industry, in the ‘same way that Apple revolutionised the phone’, through a modular approach to building cars. The so-called Variable Platform Architecture makes it relatively simple to reconfigure a chassis with different sized battery packs and drive systems. This means an automaker can create a sports car and a pickup truck with the same basic parts, making both vehicles much more cost effective.
CES 2016 runs for the rest of the week, so stay tuned to see updates to Samsung’s smart refrigerators, probably some drones and loads of smartwatches no-one will remember in a year. We can’t wait!
This originally appeared in Moving Brands Wednesday 20160106.
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