CES 2017 Car Tech

What do automakers have in store for the future?

BMW unveiled its vision of an automated car of the future

‘Innovation is the only way to win’ Steve Jobs once famously said. And it certainly seems to be a message that has resonated with car and technology manufacturers alike as their collective visions were unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show. Held annually in Las Vegas the 2017 show ran over 4 days from January 5th.

Proving once and for all that technology is leading the way in car development this year saw significant advancements in autonomous driving, artificial intelligence and car connectivity.

Some of the highlights at CES 2017 included the reveal of the first production car from tech start-up Faraday Future. The FF91 is claiming to be the world's fastest production car with a 0-62mph time of only 2.39s. Honda revealed the NeuV city car concept with its 'emotion engine' and Toyota showed off the Concept-i, while the Portal was an MPV concept from Chrysler aimed at younger buyers

There were also numerous announcements on electric car and autonomous car technology from big automotive brands and tech companies with advanced new connectivity and safety systems playing a key role in proceedings.

Here are what some of your favourite brands are getting up to in the technology stakes.

BMW

Touchscreens could soon be replaced with the ultimate in hands-free technology – the hologram. The famous German manufacturer unveiled its HoloActive Touch system, which allows drivers to scroll through and control functions on the ‘free floating’ display.

In addition to the virtual, BMW also showcased its vision of the interior of an autonomous vehicle. Including a steering wheel that folds away when in autonomous mode, a massive display screen in the backseat for entertainment, and plenty of space for reclining. For those who enjoy a good read the concept even has space for a bookshelf. Although won’t we all be reading the latest blockbusting novel on our Amazon kindles by then?

Alexa

Speaking of Amazon, Alexa – its cloud-based voice service - also features prominently in cars of the future. Hyundai is integrating Alexa into its self-driving car, the Ioniq, so drivers can turn on their car with a voice command. And they are not alone as Ford, Volkswagen and others look to integrate the personal assistant to vehicles.

Through Alexa drivers will be able to add destinations to the car’s navigation systems, check fuel levels, or lock or unlock the vehicle remotely.

Audi

Working in partnership with computing company NVIDIA, Audi has set itself the goal of having the smartest self-driving cars on the road by 2020. Announced at CES, both companies outlined that the system runs off NVIDIA's latest AI car platform, which utilises a 'deep learning' supercomputer named Xavier.

The next generation models will feature what is known as level four autonomy - fully driverless with manual options - with test prototypes already on the road.

Bosch

Bosch has been displaying its cockpit of the future – with the ability to detect the driver’s identity and automatically and personalise everything from the ideal steering wheel position to the optimal temperature. Functions are activated through gestures enhanced by haptic controls to give feedback to the driver.

The Bosch automatic parking system was also revealed with claims it will make it easier to find a space in the city. Currently in partnership with Mercedes, the system deploys ultrasound sensors to seek available spots and measure the available area, before transmitting that data to a digital street map to create a real-time parking diagram.

Ford

Electric-car was the byword for Ford at this years show. In fact not car but cars – seven of them in total were announced - all due to launch at various points over the next five years. Announced were a hybrid Mustang, F-150 pick-up and electric SUV. Plus there's even an autonomous ride-sharing vehicle planned, too.

By Tracey McBain