LAS VEGAS, Nevada, January 11, 2018 (ENS) - With cars that can read a driver's mind, and cars equipped with Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology, automakers from around the world are not waiting for this year's auto shows to roll out their latest high-tech advances. They're showcasing the technology behind their connected, electric vehicles at the first big show of 2018, the Consumer Electronics Show, now known as CES.


Nissan, Ford and Kia are among the automakers recognized for breakthrough technologies at CES in Las Vegas, the four-day exhibition, January 9-12, that attracted more than 184,000 industry professionals - at least 58,000 came from outside the United States.


CES aspires to jump-start the future of innovation, featuring technologies from more than 3,900 companies, including some 900 startups, more of them from the automotive world than ever before.


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Nissan 2018 LEAF Reads Drivers' Minds


The 2018 electric Nissan LEAF was named one of 30 "Best of Innovation" winners at this year's CES, an award presented annually by the Consumer Technology Association.


The 2018 LEAF won in the category of Vehicle Intelligence and Self-Driving Technology. Nissan is also a CES "Best of Innovation" honoree in the category Tech for a Better World.


Nissan's award-winning 2018 electric LEAF in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo courtesy Nissan)


Judged by a panel of independent industrial designers, engineers and members of the trade media, the CES Innovation Award entries are selected for outstanding design and engineering in consumer electronics products across 28 categories. They are evaluated on their engineering, aesthetic and design qualities, intended use and user value, unique or novel features and how the design and innovation of the product compares to other products in the marketplace.


"This award recognizes products and technologies that benefit people and the planet, so it is fitting that the new LEAF has been honored," said Daniele Schillaci, Nissan's executive vice president for global marketing and sales, zero-emission vehicles and battery business.


"It is more than just a car," he said. "It is the icon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, our vision to move people to a better world."


With technology that reads a driver's brain waves, Nissan is giving visitors to CES 2018 a glimpse of its vision for the future of mobility - more autonomy, more electrification and more connectivity.


Nissan's pioneering Brain-to-Vehicle (B2V) technology interprets signals from the driver's brain to assist with driving and to help the vehicle's autonomous and manual systems learn from the driver. Nissan says the technology offers shorter reaction times and systems that adapt to maximize driving pleasure.


"Nissan continues to democratize technology, bringing our most advanced systems to our highest volume models, rather than reserving them for our most expensive vehicles," said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc.


The 2018 LEAF combines electric driving with advanced technologies such as ProPILOT Assist, e-Pedal and enhanced connectivity.


ProPILOT Assist is the foundation for the autonomous vehicles of the future, helping drivers maintain lane control, navigate stop-and-go traffic, maintain a set vehicle speed and maintain a set distance to the vehicle ahead - all with simple two-button operation.



Ford Connects With Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X)



Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett took the CES stage for the opening keynote to share his ideas for creating "the living street" and promoted a human-centered path for smartening our cities.


"It’s not about cities getting smarter, it’s about humans having a better day," he said.


Ford introduced its new Transformation Mobility Cloud, an open platform designed to simplify the flow of data in support of transportation systems from vehicles and bicycles to mass transit.


Artist's rendition of how a Ford with C-V2X technology will connect with its surroundings.
(Image courtesy Ford Motor Company)


As the automotive industry prepares for advancements towards 5G - super-fast fifth generation mobile connectivity - Ford and California chipmaker Qualcomm Technologies plan to explore a next-generation telematics platform featuring Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology.


Using direct communication mode, C-V2X is designed to allow vehicles to directly communicate with other vehicles, pedestrian devices, and roadside infrastructure, such as traffic signs and construction zones, without the involvement of a cellular network, or cellular network subscription, facilitating the development and delivery of smart, connected transportation throughout the world.


"This relationship with Ford is part of a leading effort in the automotive industry in accelerating the adoption of Cellular-V2X into production vehicles and provide for enhanced safety, driver assistance and support for autonomous driving," said Nakul Duggal, vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "Connectivity is the cornerstone for innovation in vehicles."


Samsung Designs 5G Digital Cockpit


At CES 2018, Samsung and Harman demonstrated high speed connectivity in a future mobility concept vehicle powered by the Samsung Networks 5G infrastructure.


Since Samsung acquired the connected car and audio-visual expert company Harman last March, a Samsung-Harman team has gathered to boost their competitiveness in the next generation connected car business by applying Samsung’s components, products and services to automotive products.


The new Samsung-Harman Digital Cockpit is based on 5G technology. (Photo courtesy Samsung)


Wonsik Lee, senior vice president, R&D Strategy Group of Samsung Electronics’ Automotive Electronics Business, and Dr. Mike Peters, president of the Connected Car Division, Harman, are excited about the connective possibilities of the new Digital Cockpit platform demonstrated at CES 2018.


The Digital Cockpit platform combines 5G technology and an Internet of Things (IoT) platform to provide what the company calls "an intelligent and seamless connected car experience." Three displays and three knobs can be customized for driver and passenger tastes.


The system can make driving safer. The Mirror Replacement Vision System provides a front/back high definition camera and display system instead of physical side and rear-view mirrors. It gives a three-split-view for key moments such as changing lanes or parking. It can detect moving objects and sound an alarm if things get too close.


The Digital Cockpit includes a gesture sensor in the back seat so that passengers can use motions to control music or the radio. Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant is on duty. And, you can check inside your fridge to see if you have enough milk before you get home, and adjust your thermostat or start your washing machine from within the vehicle.


Peters said, "Consumer demand is dictating that the car become an extension of the connected lifestyle rather than being a product of a siloed industry. This means in-car technology needs to replicate the smartphones and smart audio experiences people enjoy at home or the office."


"In order to expand Samsung’s AI and IoT platform from home appliances and mobile phones to other 'things' including automobiles, we developed the Digital Cockpit by infusing Samsung’s mobile, IT and display technologies with Harman’s automotive technologies," said Lee at CES.


For instance, their forward-facing camera features lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, collision warning and pedestrian warning algorithms.


Peters pointed out, "The automotive technology market is also a crowded one, and with the excitement of autonomy on the horizon, there’s even more clutter to cut through. We’re no longer just in competition with other automotive suppliers, but are part of a future of mobility revolution, along with suppliers, OEMs, tech companies and even rideshare startups fighting for a piece of the pie."


Looking into the future, Lee said, "It is expected that cars will become more than just a means of transportation in the future. Cars will gradually evolve to be our living and working space. If lesser burden is put on drivers with the advent of autonomous driving technology, users will be able to enjoy more value while on the go."


Peters agrees. "That’s true," he said. "Autonomous vehicles will create a paradigm shift in how people operate cars and many drivers will transition into passengers. 5G technology and AI will play a pivotal role in this evolution to ensure autonomous vehicles have the situational awareness needed to navigate a wide variety of environments safely."


Kia Showcases 5G Vegas-Seoul Connection


The Korean automaker Kia offered interactive exhibits that let visitors experience Kia’s autonomous drive technologies through a Virtual Reality simulator, while experiencing a Vehicle to Everything (V2X) diorama demonstrating how cars could connect with other vehicles and the urban environment.


Kia announced the company will introduce 16 new advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025, including a range of new hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, as well as a new fuel-cell electric vehicle in 2020.


At CES, Kia is debuting the Niro EV Concept, powered by a next-generation electric vehicle powertrain with a real-time connection established between Las Vegas and Seoul, Korea.


The 5G connection enables users to stream content into the car, linked to the exhibit’s infotainment system.


Dr. Woong-chul Yang, vice chairman and head of Kia's R&D Center, said, "Boundless for all is Kia’s future vision – where everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the infinite value that future mobility will bring. This is Kia’s manifesto for its role as a mass mobility provider in the future."


Kia plans to commercialize Level 4 autonomous driving technology, with Smart City autonomous vehicle testing due to begin in 2021.


By 2025, Dr. Yang says Kia will adopt connected car technologies across every vehicle segment, and aims to make every single model a connected car by 2030.


Daimler Makes Big Splash With Tiny Auto


Daimler closed down part of the Las Vegas Strip January 10 to showcase its Smart Vision EQ car - a tiny autonomous car with a big presence at the CES.


The Smart Vision EQ debuted last fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show. After a stop in Tokyo, the only prototype made its U.S. debut at CES. It has no steering wheel or pedals and represents what Daimler now imagines a completely self-sustaining automobile will be like in 2030.


Photographers capture images of Daimler's Smart Vision EQ on the Las Vegas Strip during CES 2018.
(Photo courtesy Daimler AG)


The autonomous concept vehicle can pick up its passengers directly from their chosen location. Freed from the task of driving, the passengers can just relax.


New individualization options help users to recognize their vehicle by a sign on the Black Panel Grille at the front and large projection surfaces on the sides.


"The smart vision EQ fortwo is our vision of future urban mobility; it is the most radical car-sharing concept car of all: fully autonomous, with maximum communication capabilities, friendly, comprehensively personalizable and, of course, electric," says smart CEO Annette Winkler.


For Daimler brand Mercedes-Benz, Las Vegas was the final stop of the "Intelligent World Drive," with which the German automaker tested automated drive functions on all five continents in a test vehicle based on a new S-Class model, which has been automated for test purposes. It faced a variety of complex traffic situations, gathering valuable experience on the road to autonomous driving.


On the last stages of the drive, in California and Nevada, the Mercedes-Benz test vehicle collected U.S.-specific information for the development of its driver assistance systems. The automated test drives in the greater Los Angeles area, and then to CES in Vegas, focused on the assessment of driving behavior in dense city traffic and on highways.


The Intelligent World Drive took the test car to five continents in five months.


Progress must not stop at national borders," said Renata Jungo Brüngger, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Integrity and Legal Affairs.


"Legislation must keep pace with technological development, otherwise it will not be possible for important innovations in automated and autonomous driving to hit the road. Legal certainty is essential for the acceptance of autonomous driving in society. So we quickly need further international harmonization of the legal framework," said Brüngger.


The Mercedes-Benz stand at CES offered the world premiere of the intuitive and intelligent multimedia system MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience. This system can learn, can be individualized and can adapt to suit the user.


MBUX is used in the entire new compact car generation from Mercedes-Benz and will enter series production in spring 2018 in the new A-Class hatchback for select markets outside the United States, and the 2019 A-Class Sedan that launches in late 2018 in the United States.


"With the new MBUX generation, we are transporting our user interface design into the digital world," said Gorden Wagener, chief design officer at the Mercedes-Benz parent company, Daimler AG. "We are thus transferring intelligent technology into an emotional overall experience."


Continental's 3D Touch Surface Display Proves a Winner


The world’s first touchscreen with a 3D surface, by the German automotive manufacturing company Continental AG, took home a CES award for innovation.


The company won the CES 2018 Best of Innovation Award in the "In-Vehicle Audio/Video" for this state-of-the-art design and breakthrough technology.


The innovative 3D touch surface display can be operated intuitively, increasing safety. The 3D elements allow finger guidance that users can physically feel.


"Our latest display solution combines three elements: design, safety and user experience. The 3D surface not only allows for exciting design, but it also ensures that drivers can operate the various functions without having to take their eyes off the road," said Dr. Frank Rabe, head of the Instrumentation & Driver HMI business unit at Continental.


"The CES Innovation Awards honor technologies for the very highest standards of design and engineering prowess," said Rabe, "so we are absolutely delighted to have received this award."




By Sunny Lewis

Environment News Service (ENS)