The Consumer Electronics Show is a glimpse into the inter-industry future of tech, and that means it's a showcase for automakers' new, bold, and sometimes outlandish ideas. Vehicle connectivity and features were showcased as well at the show, but here are some of the best vehicles - whether or not they'll ever be a reality - from the show this year.
The company that brought the luxury-hybrid Karma is back at it, this time with an all-EV SUV. It starts at $37,995, but that goes all the way down to $29,999 after federal tax incentives - making it cheaper than the Tesla Model 3. Alternatively, you can lease it for only $379 per month after a $3000 down payment. The company says this car should enter production in late-2021, and that this platform will underpin two future products for the brand.
With Sony having created a connected vehicle platform, they decided to build a fully road-tested vehicle to ensure the platform complied with safety standards. The car was designed with safety in the forefront, incorporating Sony's detailed knowledge of sensors and imaging. Over thirty-three cameras are on the outside of the car, to detect people and objects and to provide driving support. It also uses Sony's audio expertise to provide an immersive experience. Sony has no interest in making cars, but it shows the capability of what they are supplying.
Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR Concept
If you think this looks like something out of movie Avatar, that's intentional. The film was the inspiration for this futuristic concept, according to Mercedes-Benz. It's designed to show off the sustainability efforts of the automaker and its parent company, Daimler. It's an EV with a completely compostable battery, free of any rare-earth elements. It features vegan leather and hand-harvested timber. The car can read your pulse and breathing, and a screen makes a projection up front. This certainly is never going to be a production model, but it's an interesting idea of how cars might fit into the Avatar world.
Lamborghini Huracan Evo
Lamborghini's Huracan Evo is nothing new, but it's going to receive Amazon Alexa integration. With the system integrated into the vehicle, the Alexa will be able to do familiar tasks like checking the weather, but it will also be able to control aspects of the vehicle like ambient lighting or temperature. It is a bit of a surprise, though, for Lamborghini to be one of the first automakers to enable this amount of Alexa integration.
Jeep is committed towards an electrified future, and a big part of that will be the 4xe plug-in hybrid powertrain. That instant torque should give the SUVs greater off-road capability. Jeep has said that the Compass, Renegade, and Wrangler will use the platform, but have been short on details beyond that. That includes whether there will be one system, or vehicle-dependent variations of the system. However, these vehicles themselves - not just the platform - will make their debut, independently of each other, in the coming months.
Audi showed off this car for the first time last year in the Shanghai Auto Show. All of its high-tech features were on display at CES this year. That includes features like augmented reality goggles so riders can enjoy a fantastical ride while their car really drives them around. It's level-four autonomous, which means a steering wheel is present, but mostly not needed. The car is fitted with gaze detection, which means the infotainment system can be controlled by the direction of your eyes.
Faraday Future FF-91
Faraday Future was supposed to take on Tesla years ago, but the company quickly faded into obscurity, and it seemed like it had failed. But they've returned, with a fantastic creation. It hits 60 mph in 2.3 seconds. It also responds to voice commands. It's an EV, with semi-autonomous capabilities, and inter-vehicle connectivity. It has futuristic styling that sets it apart from anything else on the road.
Byton has unveiled this concept before, but it was shown again at this year's CES ahead of its production launch in China. It's got a massively futuristic interior with a massive screen that stretches the length of the vehicle. Unfortunately, you won't be watching anything as you drive, since it only supports level-two autonomy. The steering wheel also incorporates a tablet-like screen. It's not set to go on sale in any other markets yet, but success in China might lead to that.
Honda Augmented Driving Concept
Honda realizes that automated driving is the future of the automobile, but also realizes that passengers probably don't want to give up total control. This concept drives itself, yet still reacts to the actions of the passengers. Demos showed the car stopping to take a scenic picture with a wave of the passenger's hand, or slowing to chat with a cyclist.
This car showcases the "future premium design" of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. It's not associated with any particular brand in the FCA portfolio, displaying only Airflow on the outside of the vehicle. It reportedly uses the "dimensions and load floor" of the Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid. The design incorporates elements from across the FCA brands. Inside, it features a User Experience (UX) system to facilitate driver interaction with the technologies, showcased on several screens around the interior. It seems like a fairly realistic interpretation of the automotive future.