Autonomous vehicles are not alone on the road to the future. This year, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)2019, walking vehicles, gamer controllers, in-car entertainment, virtual reality, and on-demand aerial taxis were only a few of the ideas to dramatically change transportation and advanced mobility.
More than 4,500 exhibitors and 180,000 attendees filled 2.9 million square feet at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. While exhibits included disappearing TVs and high-tech kitchens, advanced mobility took center stage. Here are a few of the highlights.
The Walking Car
Hyundai debuted Elevate, a vehicle that not only can be driven but can walk and climb. This slick, all-terrain vehicle can move omnidirectionally. Elevate’s legs make it look a bit like a Star Wars AT Walker and make it possible to crawl into rubble for rescues, climb stairs, and navigate tough terrain. It also offers 4-sided vehicle access making it easier to pick up disabled riders. These innovations make it ready for support in disaster scenes with both an active and passive suspension. If Elevate needs to cruise a highway, the legs can fold in, making it drivable.
Gamer Steering Wheel
McLaren introduced a new styled way to control your car. Instead of a traditional steering wheel, it created a smaller game controller. This controller, currently called the McLaren 675LT JVCKENWOOD is the result of a partnership with the Japanese electronics company JVC Kenwood who helped create the design. The name is a mashup. McLaren says the new wheel is to help drivers more easily control while driving. The car also features advanced driver assistance systems which alert drivers of nearby vehicles.
Audi teamed up with Disney to create a virtual reality (VR) in-car entertainment for their vehicle the E-Tron. Inside this quiet car, Audi is toying with the immersive experience. Backseat riders don virtual reality headsets and are transported inside “Marvel’s Avengers: Rocket’s Rescue Run.” The vehicle then becomes a Guardians of the Galaxy ship and passengers become players fighting their way through an asteroid field with Marvel Studio character “Rocket Along the line virtual reality becomes part of what is actually happening in the car. If the car curves to the left so do the virtual experience the players are experiencing. Look for Audi to release the virtual reality experience as early as 2020. It could change the cries to be the end of cries of “are we there yet?” to “can we make the trip a little longer.”
Bosch’s future push is for driverless electric shuttles in major cities around the world. At CES this year, Bosch showcased its innovation-packed shuttles that feature infotainment, electric motors, and a ride-sharing software platform. The software can detect if a passenger spills coffee on a seat or leaves a piece of gum behind.
Classic Goes Modern
Harley-Davidson demonstrated its first electric motor at CES 2019. Harley’s LiveWire is a revved up, futuristic take on a classic Harley. It goes from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds and runs up to 110 mph. Riders can hit the road for over a hundred miles on the lithium-ion battery pack. In another move to transform the classic bike into a 21st-century trendsetter, the LiveWire is fully connected featuring a digital instrument cluster complete with an app that allows drivers to monitor charging remotely. Website Digital Trends named Harley-Davidson the best transportation-related product of CES 2019.
By 2023, you may be able to use your Uber app for a ride in the sky. Bell’s Nexus air taxi plans to take Uber’s on-demand ride sharing to new heights with a flying car. Bell and Uber say they expect to test their flying cars by 2020 and launch commercial service by 2023. The futuristic hybrid is called the Electric Vehicle Takeoff and Landing or eVTOL. The massive eVTOL features 4 seats in addition to a pilot cockpit with six-90 degree tilting rotors.
In the Mood
Kia wants its vehicles to elevate your mood. The company is working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on self-driving cars that feature artificial intelligence that recognizes human emotions. The car has a biosignal recognition that can tell if a driver is happy, sad, or tired. The car’s system adjusts ambient lighting, temperature, and music for the driver’s mood. KIA says it’s the first automotive system to analyze emotions and then make adjustments meant to lift the driver’s mood in real time to provide an optimized driving experience.
The future of mobility is not so futuristic, it is actually just around the corner. Let Kettering University Online help position you to lead the charge in advanced mobility with the Online MS Engineering-ECE-Advanced Mobility Focus program.