The CES 2021
Paris, 25th of January 2021
The annual Consumer Electronics Show took place mid of January as an all-digital version for the first time in its history. No need to precise that this was due to the covid 19 pandemic.
During this event, the key trends highlighted were the following: digital transformation and digital health, robotics and drones, 5 G connectivity, vehicle technology (electrification, self-driving vehicle) and smart cities.
Our focus will be on vehicle technology, transportation, the megatrend of electrification remaining but having seen an acceleration during the pandemic in 2020.
1. Autonomous vehicles and more particularly with trucks:
During this event, Caterpillar showcased its massive autonomous mining truck that is as tall as a two-story house and also new underground tracking system technology incorporated into their machines. Today, the company has more than 350 autonomous trucks operating 24/7 at mines on three continents, said Denise Johnson, group president at Caterpillar.
After the trucks, let us move on to the air taxi…
GM unveiled the Cadillac eVTOL a fully autonomous concept vehicle, an all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft. This single seat personal aircraft utilizes a co-axial rotor propulsion system and is powered by a 90-kWh battery, reaching speeds of up to 90 km per hour.
GM unveiled a second concept; its Cadillac Halo autonomous pod, a mobile living room configured for maximum comfort and enhanced customer experience with three sides, recliner seats, and scatter cushions, all below a full glass roof. Biometric sensors in the seats read passengers’ vital signs and adjust heat, humidity, aromatherapy, and lighting accordingly. Voice control and hand gestures can also be used to control those adjustments.
These are concept cars but some pilots were also announced during this event: Intel which acquired Mobileye in 2017 made an announcement during the CES: Amnon Shashua, Mobileye Cofounder, revealed that Mobileye’s vehicles began driving autonomously in Detroit in late 2020 and are expected to be on the roads in Tokyo, Shanghai, Paris, and potentially New York City in the first part of 2021 (source Venture Beat).
2. The driverless car industry has a new breath of life, we see a real momentum in companies choosing to invest in this technology.
Indeed, Microsoft Corp has just announced a $ 2billion investment in GM driverless car startup Cruise. In addition, Baidu will partner with Geely to make electric autonomous cars and Hyundai and Apple are in talks to produce the Apple car, an electric autonomous vehicle.
3. During this CES, it was also the opportunity for GM to announce the launch of a new delivery and logistics business called BrightDrop, which will offer connected and electrified first to last mile products and services for logistics companies. The first products will be an electrified delivery pallet (EP1) and an electric LCV (EV600). The EP1 is an electric-powered wheeled pallet that takes goods from a delivery vehicle to the customer’s front door; it will go into production in early 2021.
4. So let us move in to the car.
Beginning with Mercedes Benz and its Hyperscreen, a 142 cm touchscreen that will appear in the EQS luxury electric sedan, and will go into production in late 2021.
BMW showcased its new iDrive Operating System that will come onto the market in 2021.
Micromobility was also in the spotlight during this CES with Vaimoo a connected e bike sharing solution, being awarded with the CES 2021 Innovation Awards Honoree in the Vehicle Intelligence and Transportation category.
Therefore, this CES 2021 clearly highlighted and confirmed the ACES (Autonomous, Connected, Electric, Shared) megatrends with some exciting developments to come in the fleet and mobility sector.