The 2021 CES digital showcase is not just about gadgets but also about new automotive technologies. Brands like FCA, General Motor, BMW among others showcased a bunch of new and exciting stuff at this year’s all digital CES and here’s everything you need to know about them.
Auto At CES 2021
GM Reveals Flying Car, Updated Bolt EUV
American manufacturer Cadillac unveiled three brand new vehicles during their CES showcase. Two of them were very early concepts of futuristic vehicles meanwhile one of them seemed a bit more production-ready. Starting off with the futuristic ones, Cadillac revealed a brand new eVTOL (Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing) vehicle and a self-driving mini-bus.
The former looks like a giant drone with the capacity to carry a single occupant. It is all-electric and uses a 90 kWh battery and has a top speed of 90 km/h.
The next futuristic vehicle is a self-driving mini-bus outfitted with swivel doors and lounge interiors. What’s very interesting about this minibus is that uses biometric sensors that adjust the seating comfort of the in-car cushions based on a different type of passenger.
The third and probably the most production-ready vehicle was Cadillac Celestiq, a fully electric sedan featuring All-Wheel Drive, end-to-end display touch screen and probably a big battery range.
Cadillac also teased a Bold Electric Utility Vehicle along with the updated Chevy Bolt electric hatchback. The Bolt EUV will feature, for the first time, Chevy’s Super Cruise self-driving technology. Additionally, the updated Bolt hatchback will also come with some improvements including an improved driving range.
Lastly, GM introduced a brand new delivery product system comprised of an electric delivery van with 402 km of range and new delivery boxes dubbed EP1. The combination of these two is likely to make the delivering process simplified for large corporations like Amazon, Walmart, UPS etc.
Already, Arrival, Rivian and a few smaller players are building electric delivery vans and GM seemingly also wants a piece of that pie.
Mercedes Benz Showcased The Future of Dashboards
During Mercedes’ CES 2021 event we got to witness what the future car dashboard will look like. I admit its not the most exciting thing amongst flying cars but Mercedes did integrate some of the best technologies in their future tech.
The single-piece digital display tuned EV dashboard is called the MBUX hyper screen and it will come installed in the Mercedes EQS electric sedan. This piece of hardware integrates the infotainment system, driver’s console, in three individual displays spanning a total of 56 inches across. The new dashboard also comes with an inbuilt AI and an intuitive interface.
BMW Celebrates Two Decades of iDrive
The entire BMW showcase at CES 2021 was a mixed bag of good and weird stuff. The German automaker celebrated 20th anniversary their popular iDrive system via a short film featuring two talking cars, an older 7 series and the latest iX electric car.
I sort of understood what BMW was trying to do with the entire video but the short film left a bad taste in the mouth of loyal owners, particularly those who owned a 7 series.
FCA’s Flying Car
Fiat-Chrysler Automotive (FCA) showcased their version of “flying car” or more specifically “flying taxi” during CES 2021. They’re building this eVTOL vehicle in collaboration with Archer aviation.
FCA is using a 187 kWh battery in their flying car and it’ll have a battery range of 60 miles. This particular flying car looks bigger than GM’s version and subsequently is also features more passenger seating space. This type of flying car will work as a flying taxi and not as an airliner.
Automotive Gadgets And Accessories
Gentex, a company that manufacturers mirrors and cameras, featured their set of innovative tech at CES 2021. They revealed a rear-view mirror with an inbuilt camera. It is an amazing gadget that eliminates the lot of connecting wires which similar devices currently suffer from.
Tech manufacturer Panasonic also received a fair share of hype at the CES 2021, thanks to their new car related accessories. They released a brand new heads up display which not only shows information related to pedestrians, environment and the car but does so in a clean and dare I say easy-to-understand format.
The second gadget from Panasonic was a new wireless charging slot featuring a moving coil. Meaning you can place your phone in any position you want and the moving coil will detect the best charging position for it.
Indie Autonomous Challange 2021
The upcoming Indie Autonomous Racing event was also announced at CES 2021. It is a spec-series event meaning all cars will be identical in terms of mechanical capabilities but the self-driving software designed to run them will make a difference.
Several teams of coders from engineering schools across the world will participate in the event taking place in October 2021 at the Indianapolis motor speedway.
Winners will get a million dollars in prize money and all the fame and glory associated with winning the title.