Maximpact Blog

Innovative Cars for a Better World

An artist's rendition of how the Ford connected car of the future will use Qualcomm technology to connected with everything. (Image courtesy Ford Motor Company Inc. (Posted for media use)

An artist’s rendition of how the Ford connected car of the future will use Qualcomm technology to connected with everything. (Image courtesy Ford Motor Company Inc. (Posted for media use)

By Sunny Lewis

LAS VEGAS, Nevada, January 11, 2018 ( News) – With cars that can read a driver’s mind, and cars equipped with Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology, automakers from around the world are not waiting for this year’s auto shows to roll out their latest high-tech advances. They’re showcasing the technology behind their connected, electric vehicles at the first big show of 2018, the Consumer Electronics Show, now known as CES.

Nissan, Ford and Kia are among the automakers recognized for breakthrough technologies at CES in Las Vegas, the four-day exhibition, January 9-12, which has attracted more than 184,000 industry professionals, including more than 58,000 from outside the United States.

CES aspires to jump-start the future of innovation. The show features technologies from more than 3,900 companies, including some 900 startups, that organizers say will change the lives of people around the world.

The 2018 electric Nissan LEAF was named one of 30 “Best of Innovation” winners at this year’s CES, presented by the Consumer Technology Association.

The 2018 LEAF won the CES Best of Innovation award for Vehicle Intelligence and Self-Driving Technology and is also a CES honoree for Tech for a Better World.

Judged by a panel of independent industrial designers, engineers and members of the trade media, the CES Innovation Award entries are selected for outstanding design and engineering in consumer electronics products across 28 categories. They are evaluated on their engineering, aesthetic and design qualities, intended use and user value, unique or novel features and how the design and innovation of the product compares to other products in the marketplace.

“This award recognizes products and technologies that benefit people and the planet, so it is fitting that the new LEAF has been honored,” said Daniele Schillaci, Nissan’s executive vice president for global marketing and sales, zero-emission vehicles and battery business.

“It is more than just a car. It is the icon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, our vision to move people to a better world,” he said.

With technology that reads a driver’s brain waves, Nissan is giving visitors to CES 2018 a glimpse of its vision for the future of mobility – more autonomy, more electrification and more connectivity.

Nissan’s pioneering Brain-to-Vehicle (B2V) technology interprets signals from the driver’s brain to assist with driving and to help the vehicle’s autonomous and manual systems learn from the driver. Nissan says the technology offers shorter reaction times and systems that adapt to maximize driving pleasure.

Nissan's award-winning 2018 electric LEAF in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo courtesy Nissan) Posted for media use

Nissan’s award-winning 2018 electric LEAF in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo courtesy Nissan) Posted for media use

The 2018 LEAF combines the excitement of 100 percent electric driving with advanced technologies such as ProPILOT Assist, e-Pedal and enhanced connectivity.

ProPILOT Assist is the foundation for the autonomous vehicles of the future, helping drivers maintain lane control, navigate stop-and-go traffic, maintain a set vehicle speed and maintain a set distance to the vehicle ahead – all with simple two-button operation.

“Nissan continues to democratize technology, bringing our most advanced systems to our highest volume models, rather than reserving them for our most expensive vehicles,” said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc.

Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett took the CES stage for the opening keynote to share his ideas for creating “the living street” and promoted a human-centered path for smartening our cities.

“It’s not about cities getting smarter, it’s about humans having a better day,” he said.

Ford introduced its new Transformation Mobility Cloud, an open platform designed to simplify the flow of data in support of transportation systems from vehicles and bicycles to mass transit.

As the automotive industry prepares for advancements towards 5G, Ford and Qualcomm Technologies plan to explore a next-generation telematics platform featuring Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology.

Using direct communication mode, C-V2X is designed to allow vehicles to directly communicate with other vehicles, pedestrian devices, and roadside infrastructure, such as traffic signs and construction zones, without the involvement of a cellular network, or cellular network subscription, facilitating the development and delivery of smart, connected transportation throughout the world.

“This relationship with Ford is part of a leading effort in the automotive industry in accelerating the adoption of Cellular-V2X into production vehicles and provide for enhanced safety, driver assistance and support for autonomous driving,” said Nakul Duggal, vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Connectivity is the cornerstone for innovation in vehicles.”

For Mercedes-Benz, Las Vegas was the final stop of the “Intelligent World Drive,” with which the German automaker tested automated drive functions on all five continents.

On the last stages in California and Nevada, the Mercedes-Benz test vehicle collected U.S.-specific information for the further development of its driver assistance systems. The automated test drives in the greater Los Angeles area, and then to CES, focused on the assessment of driving behavior in dense city traffic and on highways.

The Mercedes-Benz stand at CES offers the world premiere of the intuitive and intelligent multimedia system MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience. This system can learn, can be individualized and adapts to suit the user.

“With the new MBUX generation, we are transporting our user interface design into the digital world,” says Gorden Wagener, chief design officer at Mercedes-Benz parent company, Daimler AG. “We are thus transferring intelligent technology into an emotional overall experience.”

The Korean automaker Kia is showcasing interactive exhibits that allow visitors to experience Kia’s developing autonomous drive technologies through a Virtual Reality simulator, while experiencing a Vehicle to Everything (V2X) diorama demonstrating how cars could connect with other vehicles and the urban environment.

At CES, Kia is debuting the Niro EV Concept, powered by a next-generation electric vehicle powertrain with a real-time connection established between Las Vegas and Seoul, Korea. The 5G connection enables users to stream contents reliably into the car, linked to the exhibit’s infotainment system.

Dr. Woong-chul Yang, vice chairman and head of Kia’s R&D Center, said, “Boundless for all is Kia’s future vision – where everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the infinite value that future mobility will bring. This is Kia’s manifesto for its role as a mass mobility provider in the future.”

Kia plans to commercialize Level 4 autonomous driving technology, with ‘Smart City’ autonomous vehicle testing due to begin in 2021.

By 2025, Dr. Yang says Kia will adopt connected car technologies across every vehicle segment, and aims to make every single model a connected car by 2030.

Kia will introduce 16 new advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025, including a range of new hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, as well as a new fuel-cell electric vehicle in 2020.

An automotive-related award-winning innovation is the world’s first touchscreen with a 3D surface, by the German automotive manufacturing company Continental AG.

The company won the CES 2018 Best of Innovation Award in the “In-Vehicle Audio/Video” for its state of the art design and breakthrough technology.

The innovative 3D touch surface display can be operated intuitively, increasing safety. The 3D elements allow  finger guidance that users can actually feel.

“Our latest display solution combines three elements: design, safety and user experience. The 3D surface not only allows for exciting design, but it also ensures that drivers can operate the various functions without having to take their eyes off the road,” said Dr. Frank Rabe, head of the Instrumentation & Driver HMI business unit at Continental.

“The CES Innovation Awards honor technologies for the very highest standards of design and engineering prowess, so we are absolutely delighted to have received this award,” said Rabe.

But other breakthrough technologies also are being recognized as CES Innovation Award winners , such as: Siren Diabetic Socks made with miniature temperature sensors embedded into the fabric to help people with diabetes know when their feet are injured; the Samsung’s consumer micro LED TV; Aipoly’s Autonomous Store Platform, an automated convenience store; BUDDY, the first companion robot for the whole family; a 3D camera; Dell’s Ocean-Bound Plastics Packaging Program; NUVIZ, the first integrated head-up display for motorcyclists; and the EZVIZ Lookout Smart Door Viewer, that provides secure viewing of who is knocking at your door from anywhere through an app rather than having to physically walk up to the door to see who’s there.