Las Vegas — While CES is not technically an auto show, it sure looked like one. Nearly the entire West Hall of the Las Vegas convention center was filled with autonomous and electric vehicle technologies.
BMW introduced a color changing electric vehicle called the iX Flow. It generated lots of buzz among the attendees.
“The technology behind it is E Ink, the same material you know in e-readers,” said Dr. Stella Clarke, project lead for the BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink. “This is a concept. We’ve been working the last six months on this but we see a lot of potential in it. We program it to what we think our customers would like and benefit from. But of course, it is programmable so our customers could program it themselves.“
The German automaker also showed off the new iX M60 sport utility vehicle. It is a dual motor performance EV with 280 miles of driving range. The iX M60 produces an impressive 610 horsepower and 800 lb.-ft. of torque.
BMW also offered free test drives of its new iX and i7 SUVs during CES. Attendees could drive them on the streets of Las Vegas around the perimeter of the convention center.
Also on Wednesday morning, Stellantis revealed the all new Chrysler Airflow electric vehicle concept. The automaker says it will achieve 400 miles of electric range. The Airflow is expected to hit dealers in 2025 and the entire Chrysler brand says it will be totally electric by 2028. It is expected to compete with the Ford Mustang Mach-E.
General Motors Chair and CEO Mary Barra was supposed to deliver a keynote speech in person at CES. Instead, her speech was moved to online only due to the rise in Covid-19 Omicron cases.
“I’m on the stage of the historic Fox Theatre in Detroit,” Barra said. “While the venue has changed, our message of sustainability and climate equity remain every bit as vital. GM is redefining how people and goods are moved. Our commitment to a vision of a world of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion has become a movement and has positioned us ahead of much of the competition. Visionary investments made over the past decade in electrification, software-enabled services and autonomous driving have enabled GM to transform from automaker to platform innovator. Our goal is to be carbon neutral by 2040 as a company. We are on track to invest $35 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles by 2025.”
The American automaker showed off the all new 2024 Chevy Silverado electric pickup truck digitally. It will offer 400 miles of driving range and will produce 664 horsepower. The Silverado work truck will start at $39,900. Meanwhile, the high end model will cost $105,000.
GM also announced plans to build a Chevy Equinox EV and a Chevy Blazer EV. Those would hit the market by 2023, according to Barra.
New electric vehicle startup company Indi EV displayed its all new Indi One electric car. It is described as the world’s first social media-oriented car. Under the hood is a giant supercomputer for gaming, recording, editing and sharing video.
“What makes us really unique in the marketplace is the fact that we have integrated a super computer into the vehicle,” said Andre Hudson, head of design at Indi EV. “If you look into the front hood there, you’ll see a window and you’ll see that computer through the window. Much like a super car showcases it’s engine, we like to showcase our processing power. We really think the future of EVs is what they can process not necessarily how fast they can move. VIC allows us to bring in an array of amazing software gaming developments, software development, social media development, processes into the car through our sister companies. There’s five integrated HD cameras, so when you combine the microphones and the cameras with that supercomputer, you’re able to do real time recording of HD video, photo capture, social media content creation and uploading. That’s a really special thing.”
When you step inside you’ll notice two display screens–one for the driver and the other for the passenger. It comes equipped with a 95-kWH battery pack that will produce 275 miles of driving range. Pricing starts at $45,000 and it should be available in the last quarter of this year.
Hyundai Heavy Industries Group showed off their new autonomous boats and ships. Their new Avikus autonomous navigation technology will reduce marine accidents and dramatically change maritime logistics. Avikus is planning to hold the world’s first self driving transoceanic voyage by the first quarter of this year.
“80 percent of maritime accidents are due to human error,” said Hyogyeong Joo, an engineer at Avikus. “When I heard about Avikus and how autonomous navigation can make seas safer and easier, I had to get on board. We’re already well on our way to delivering fully autonomous navigation for a while range of ships from large vessels to small ships. We’re working on auto docking technology for small ships which will fully automate the berthing process.”
The Korean company also plans to offer smart construction robots by the year 2025. Their goal is to support unmanned construction sites in the future.
Tier one supplier Hyundai MOBIS introduced two concept vehicles called the M.Vision POP and the M.Vision 2GO. Both vehicles feature 90-degree rotation of all four wheels for easier parallel parking and a communication lamp on the front grille to alert nearby pedestrians of the vehicle. The M.Vision POP is a battery powered vehicle while the M.Vision 2GO is a hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle.
Volvo teamed up with Luminar and Zenseact to premiere their self driving Concept Recharge at CES. It features LiDAR technology, five radars, eight cameras, and 16 ultrasonic sensors for a true autonomous driving experience. Volvo says it will cost similar to the XC90 which is priced at $50,000. In addition, Volvo will add YouTube and Google Home integration into its cars very soon.
Startup company Splitvolt told me about their new technology that splits an existing dryer socket with your portable electric vehicle charger. Their goal is to eliminate the expensive cost of installing an EV charger in your garage.
“I originally conceived of this idea after going from a hybrid to an electric vehicle,” said founder and CEO Daniel Liddle. “I realized we already have a 240-volt in a dryer plug so we built the Splitvolt splitter switch. You plug this device in and it will share that same circuit between your EV charger and your dryer. It does it safely and seamlessly. You can save hundreds and hundreds of dollars by using this plug and play device.”
When your clothes are finished in the dryer, the power is automatically switched over to your electric car to begin charging immediately. That way EV owners won’t have to worry about forgetting to plug in their car ever again.
Vietnamese automaker Vinfast had their first display at CES after hosting one at the L.A. Auto Show in November. In Las Vegas, the company showed off its entire lineup of electric vehicles in what it called the “Global EV Day.” Anyone who places a $200 reservation on an Vinfast EV will receive $4,800 off the purchase price and a NFT token. Vinfast said it is already looking at building a battery factory in the U.S.
Stay with AmericaJR for continuing coverage of CES 2022…
Stay with AmericaJR for more coverage of CES 2022…