CES Is Apparently Going To Be Everything To Everyone When It Comes To Mobility


Having signed up to attend CES as a media representative, my inbox has turned into the fertile ground for some of the most vague, most promising future of mobility pitches. I won’t be able to cover all of these companies in my short time on the ground in Las Vegas next week, so I thought a brief overview of just some of the PR pitches I’ve received would serve as a teaser to what companies are trying desperately to promote. It’s a big show, and there’s going to be everything from autonomous fast food deliveries to “object fusion” happening there.

Take, for example, Urban Mobility Systems. A Dutch company that will exhibit as part of the Holland Start-up Pavilion because of the international launch of their zero-emission, inner-city, light-weight, autonomous vehicles (AVs) for “smart transportation of goods and people in an urban environment.” So far, so standard. But the highlight is this line: “By using a polyester sandwich material for the monocoque vehicle body, we make an extremely light-weight, stiff, low-floor and corrosion proof vehicle that can hold more pay-load and/or more batteries compared to other BEV’s. Hydrogen range-extender is optional.”

Or there’s AutoX, which is going to offer food delivery using self-driving vehicles and will be live streaming a burger delivery from a local restaurant to the Las Vegas Convention Center during the show. AutoX says that its Level 4 autonomous driving solution is different because of “its emphasis on inexpensive, but high-resolution cameras as the primary sensor, rather than expensive LiDAR laser arrays and other costly sensors. AutoX’s high-resolution camera sensing enables the AI to safely detect small objects such as kids and pets, and see farther ahead for longer distance compared to other autonomous driving technologies that heavily rely on LiDAR.”

The pitch from Hitachi seems useful and actually somewhat grounded in reality. The company will be demoing its Long Range Summon feature for AVs. Hitachi says that this improvement to the autonomous driving technology it has been working on with Clarion, moving it from Level 3 to Level 4, “will be the first commercialized technology of its kind – scheduled for release end of December 2018. Without any need for the driver’s assistance or the installation of any facility/location infrastructure, Long Range Summon (LRS) enables the car to be summoned by the driver from greater distances completely autonomously.” Don’t worry, because Hitachi is also working on the fantastical end of things with its “Tactile Wave Audio” tech. Here’s the idea:

As cars become more autonomous, exterior and interior design innovations become more necessary. Clarion has created a technology which eliminates the need for speakers by converting interior components of the car itself, e.g., door panels and dashboards, into speakers, providing equal sound quality and improved ambience.”

If that kind of futuristic PR pitch is your jam, then you’ll like what the Israeli company Vayavision is offering. Vayavision will be launching it VAYADrive 2.0 “perception engine” for AVs and what is VAYADrive, you ask. Well, it’s a “software universally compatible with vehicle sensors of any make to improve their ability to see and feel the road. This launch brings emerging ‘raw data fusion’ technology to the B2B automotive vehicle market, finally offering an alternative to ‘object fusion’, which performs poorly with ‘unknown’ obstacles and scenarios.”

Lastly, for now, there’s autonomous truck startup TuSimple, which I’ve written about before. The company is showing off their Level 4 autonomous semi-truck, with its “record breaking 1000-meter autonomous perception system,” as well as “significant news about the growth of its business which has the company on track to become the largest autonomous truck solutions company in 2019.”

My inbox has dozens more pitches like these, proving that CES promises to be a whirlwind of announcements and flashy tech demos. Which ones we remember more than three months after the show remains to be seen, but for now, everything looks shiny and bright.

Source: Sebastian Blanco – Forbes.com