Automotive tech has evolved into a significant story at the annual Consumer Electronics Show – and CES 2022 was no exception.
Even with the smaller crowds due to pandemic fears and travel restrictions, the future of transport was revealed at this year’s show, as well as virtually for those attending remotely, and you need not be a gear head to be blown away at what’s coming down the road.
Electrification, automation, and personalization proved to be the three biggest automotive tech trends you can expect going forward, including vehicles designed to make transport safer, faster, more comfortable, and less taxing on Mother Earth.
A few highlights:
Chevy Silverado gets electrified
In her keynote address, General Motors CEO Mary Barra took the wraps off the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV, a next-gen full-size pick-up with battery-powered range of up to 400 miles on a full charge. Prices are expected to start at $39,900.
Leveraging the power of GM’s Ultium EV platform, this sleek Silverado also supports DC fast charging capabilities up to 350 kilowatts, which means you can get 100 miles of EV range in just 10 minutes on public DC fast chargers.
As with several other GM vehicles, this truck will support Super Cruise, the industry’s first true hands-free driver-assistance technology on more than 200,000 miles of highways across the U.S. and Canada. It will keep you in your lane, accelerate and decelerate based on road traffic, and will change lanes for you, once safe to do so (after putting on your turn signal).
Reservations are open now, with the first trucks available in the spring of 2023.
► Battle of the electric pickups: Chevy reveals electric Silverado pickup, vows to beat Ford’s towing, power, range
Fisker embraces radar
Still on track for delivery in late 2022, Fisker announced new digital radar technology for its New Ocean EV SUV, which will be part of its Fisker Intelligent Pilot, an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) that uses multiple cameras and sensors. The company says radar offers better resolution to see further in front of the vehicle and distinguish objects sooner, such as locating vehicles at 656 feet and pedestrians at 262 feet in front of it.
The Ocean also features a solar roof that generates up to 2,000 miles of range per year from sunlight. Inside the vehicle, a 17-inch rotating screen on the dashboard, a world’s first, and a doggie window in the back hatch.
Due out in November, Fisker New Ocean will start at under $40,000 (and under $30,000 after tax credits).
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A BMW that can change colors
Shown in-person and quickly followed by a trending topic on social media, BMW demonstrated its iX Flow tech at CES, which may let future BMW owners change the color of their vehicle with the push of a button.
BMW says electrophoretic coloring is based on a technology developed by E lnk, a technology most commonly seen on e-reader screens from Kobo and Amazon’s Kindle.
The surface coating of the BMW would contain millions of microcapsules, with a diameter equivalent to the thickness of a human hair, says BMW in a press release. Each microcapsules contains negatively charged white pigments and positively charged black pigments, which can help the car change its look, in varying shades of white, black and grey.
No, you cannot change your future car from, say, blue to red, but still impressive, and seemingly ripped out of a sci-fi movie.
► New hues: BMW unveils color-changing iX Flow SUV at CES with E Ink technology
Hyundai talks ‘Mobility of Things’
Hyundai, it seems, is expanding its business to evolve into a robotics company, as well.
At CES 2022, the South Korean powerhouse introduced the future concept of “Mobility of Things,” that may power everything from passenger pods (that can safely and quickly transport people autonomously from one place to another) to robotic helpers, including four-legged ‘bots that can help serve humans in several ways, such as walking around a hospital to check on patients, helping to stack heavy crates in a warehouse or surveilling a business by walking around its perimeter to look for anything suspicious.
You may recall Hyundai bought Boston Dynamics, a robotics leader, this past June.
► These are the products from CES 2022 that I’d actually buy: Smart faucet, 97-inch OLED TV
Wejo data getting smarter, streamlined
Founded in 2014 and headquartered in the U.K., Wejo already works with automakers to gather real-time and historic car data from 150 sensors (on a typical connected car) for insights on traffic, accidents, emissions, driving behaviors, vehicle reliability, and other valuable “big data” that can be analyzed to help car makers and drivers alike.
Announced at CES in partnership with Microsoft, Wejo Neural Edge is an evolution of the platform that captures only critical data and to create a metaverse “digital twin” of both your car and driving environment, helping to bring autonomous vehicles and smart cities to a true realization.
► The weirdest stuff we saw at CES 2022: John Deere’s self-driving tractor, robot masseuses