Latest automotive innovations highlighted at CES 2020

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The automotive industry has become a major part of various consumer-based exhibitions such as Consumer Electronics Show (CES) with a focus on innovation in electric vehicles, telematics and autonomous capabilities, bringing together various industries due to its cross-industrial applications.

Major OEMs, including automotive parts and components manufacturers/suppliers are beginning to utilise these platforms to introduce new automotive technologies and concepts to the world.

Let’s take a look at some of the automotive technology updates that were highlighted at CES 2020 which happened earlier this month.

City Of The Future

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A major challenge in the development of autonomous vehicles is testing. It is vital to test them in unpredictable environments, but in a safe and controlled way with all the supporting infrastructures readily available.

To overcome that obstacle, Toyota announced the development of a smart city – “Woven City, which will be built on the lands of Mount Fuji, Japan.

This “living laboratory” is a fully connected ecosystem powered by hydrogen fuel cells and will include full time residents and researchers who will test and develop technologies such as autonomy, robotics, personal mobility and smart homes, in a real-world environment. Construction is set to begin next year.

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Sony's Vision-S Concept

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Sony is a well-known manufacturer when it comes to audio/visual equipment but this year, the company took a different approach to venture into the automotive sector through its unveiling of the Vision-S, Sony’s answer to electric vehicle development.

The project was worked on with several other companies including Qualcomm, Nvidia and Bosch to showcase the automotive technologies these companies has put together.

According to Sony, the Vision-S is built on top a "newly designed EV platform" that can also be used to run other types of vehicles, including SUVs.

In terms of safety, the Vision-S is fitted with 33 sensors both in and outside the vehicle that are designed to detect hazards on the road while detecting driver fatigue.

The entertainment aspect sees three infotainment screens (one on the dashboard; one on each of the front seats) and Sony’s 360-degree Reality Audio, that will allow sound to radiate in all directions throughout the interior of the car for an immersive experience.

Autonomous vehicle hardware platform

Another new player in the automotive industry this year is Qualcomm, a world-renowned phone processor manufacturer which showcased its suite of hardware platforms catered for the development of self-driving vehicles.

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The suite consists of Snapdragon Ride Safety system-on-chips (SoCs), Snapdragon Ride Safety Accelerator, and Snapdragon Ride Autonomous Stack, that can be applied in all levels of autonomous driving, ranging from active safety tools like autonomous emergency braking (AEB) all the way to fully autonomous vehicles.

One of the platform’s feature is its heat efficiency, which enables the application of passive air cooling, which is both simpler and less expensive than water cooling.

Flying taxi rides by 2023

Uber, a global e-hailing service provider, and Hyundai showcased a full-scale model of a flying taxi that is being worked on by both companies. Uberdai, as they’re calling it, will fit a pilot and three passengers. The electric vehicle will have a range of up to 69 kilometers, at speeds of up to 290 km/h.

As of now, the flying taxi will have to be manned but they have plans to make it fully autonomous. Uber intends to launch a flying car service in the US and Australia in 2023.

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A robot that cooks!

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On a lighter note, Samsung showcased its Chef Bot, a pair of collaborative robotic arms designed to make salads on-demand.

The Chef Bot can whip up to 35 salad recipes and is able to look through cabinets, pour ingredients into a pan, and stir them together to create a salad, all only utilising Artificial Intelligence (AI), computer vision algorithms, and machine learning.

Although the robot is still dependent on a human chef to carry out some cooking tasks, what’s interesting is that Chef Bot also has the ability to learn new skills on-the-go, while it is also able to learn how to manipulate traditional cooking appliances and use them.

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