NewsArts & Culture / January 11, 2017

Electric, Autonomous Future Unfurls At CES

Casey Williams
Electric, Autonomous Future Unfurls At CES

The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is a toy box of the latest tech gadgets, but it’s also become the go-to destination for automakers debuting their most advanced future visions – and one Tesla-challenging production car.

Toyota Concept-i

Meet the autonomous car of the future focused on humans.  Developed with technology from Toyota Innovation Hub in San Francisco, the car applies the concept of “kinetic warmth” that turns body panels into flatscreens to welcome passengers with a “Hello” and warn other cars behind.   Scissor doors unfurl an interior that uses colored lights in the footwells to indicate manual vs. autonomous mode, blind spot warnings projected onto the seat pillar, and a heads-up display to keep eyes forward.

Chrysler Portal Concept

It’s the six-passenger mini-van reinvented for Millennials and the autonomous age.  A futuristic exoskeleton design rides over a compact battery pack that delivers a 250-miles all-electric range.  Anticipating autonomous driving, the control yolk retracts into the dashboard.  Quad sliding doors welcome passengers to a cabin that allows passengers to order food via touchscreen, automatically pay for said food, and dock smartphones to easily share GoPro photos straight from the van.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

A conduit for online commerce, the van features a fully automated load compartment, integrated drones for autonomous air deliveries, and about 168 miles all-electric range.  It also utilizes cloud-based software to optimize delivery routes and communicates with other vehicles via a black panel grille insert with LEDs, Drivers are directed via a dash display, changing interior lighting, and smartwatch.  The rear rack system is compatible with autonomous robots for optimized deliveries.

Faraday Future FF 91

Tesla-challenging Faraday Future unveils its first production car, due in 2018.  The company claims it has a 378 miles all-electric range, harbors 1,050 horsepower, and runs 0-60 mph in 2.39s.  Facial recognition entry, Wi-Fi, and autonomous valet parking add convenience.  Batteries can be recharged to 50% in 4.5 hours on 240v.  Other high-tech toys include rocker panels that illuminate upon approach, door and roof glass that darken with a finger tap, and cameras that merge side and rear views on the center rearview mirror.  An array of sensors and cameras keep it safe.

Storm Forward!



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