The future of the car is a big turning point for technology and travel. CES 2016 highlighted some of the subtle changes to the car industry and the tech that powers it. However, missing from the show this year was the truly autonomous car everyone seems to have an opinion on. While travel is changing, we seem to be getting further from the driverless car and more into the realm of the smart connected car.
Here’s our take on the cars and the technology behind them from CES 2016.
3 of the Best Car Tech Developments at CES 2016
The FFZERO1 from Faraday Future was one of the most anticipated announcement and unveiling at CES this year. It didn’t disappoint. While the FFZERO1 won’t launch until 2017, this 1000-horsepower fully electric car for one was beautiful, elegant, and streamlined to look more like a race car than the cars you see on the road today. Unfortunately, there’s no telling what a consumer-driven model will look like or price, but it looks like Faraday Future is ready to compete head-to-head with Tesla in North America and beyond.
While Volkswagen (VW) is in the midst of an emissions scandal in the US, all eyes were on what it was doing with turning its line of cars into the smart car of the future. I had the chance to talk to a VW rep, Stefan, about its integrated social network system built into the dashboard offering drivers a truly hands-free way to stay connected when driving. In fact, if you’re driving, you won’t be able to respond to texts, IMs, and more without speaking. It’ll lock you out of responding any other way. Watching the demo for this system was amazing, especially the tech to stop drivers from being distracted on the road.
Qualcomm introduced its Snapdragon 602A processor at its press conference and then showcased its uses in several areas of CES. I had a chance to walkthrough some of its car applications, including its processor integration with the Audi Q7. As usual, Qualcomm’s partnership brings together the beauty of design and flawless integration giving drivers ways to do everything from make calls, get directions, and even get notifications when the car can see they’re distracted from the road.
Car Tech Themes at CES 2016
Electric cars, including the FFZERO1, were on showcase from many of the most popular car manufacturers. Although no real strides in this technology were announced or showcased, for now, electric cars still seem to be more popular than driver less technology. It’ll be interesting to see in the next few years whether these two niches team up or evolve quicker.
VW wasn’t the only company utilizing social integration, you saw this feature across the board although not as integrated as what VW is doing. It’s only a matter of time before your car keeps you just as connected seamlessly as your phone or computer does. As we live increasingly connected and mobile lives, it makes sense for car technology to help us with that.
One of the biggest perks of walking through the car area of CES is seeing the beauty present in design. This isn’t just what cars look like on the outside but what they look like on the inside, too. The integration of technology, bigger screens, and digital displays can be out of place if the rest of the car doesn’t fully jive with that tech. Audi in particular gets big marks for integrate technology and design.
Unfortunately, CES 2016 didn’t seem to bring much new technology from the car industry. Instead, it focused on existing technologies, integrating IoT, and showcasing what’s to come. It’ll be exciting to see what cars do next year, since they now almost take up an entire exhibit hall of their own. For now, it’s safe to say IoT has invaded car development and time will tell if the average consumer will embrace it.