By Jeff Osborne, Head of Key Accounts Gumtree SA.
Cars and technology go together so much these days that the high profile Consumer Electronics Show, held in Las Vegas in January, was recently named one of the top ten auto shows in the USA. Many of the big motoring brands now choose to launch vehicles at CES and not just to reveal their tech innovations.
So, what’s hot in auto tech from CES 2019?
- CAMERAS AROUND CORNERS. All-round video vision and sensors are standard at the top end but the cameras are becoming high-res and Nissan’s Invisible-to-Visible technology combines data from car sensors with info updated via the cloud to create a virtual image of what’s coming out of sight and around the corner. Some manufacturers have an app which allows you to use the car’s cameras to remotely check the area around your vehicle. The same apps offer the ability to flash lights, honk the horn or start the car.
- CONNECTIVITY AT THE WAVE OF A HAND. Connected car tech is moving beyond an internet connection into computer vision and augmented reality on the dashboard with seamless ease of use and convenient integration with smartphones. The Mercedes-Benz User Experience infotainment system, launched at CES, controls the infotainment and climate control systems simply by gesture or voice.
- HASSLE FREE PHONE CHARGING. As new smartphones offer wireless charging capabilities, automakers have responded by installing wireless charging pads as standard features on some models.
- HIDING THE TECH. BMW’s Vision iNext features what BMW calls ‘Shy Tech’ with control interfaces integrated into the décor that only appear when you touch the pad. This is meant to create a cleaner interior.
- ELECTRICITY IS CURRENT FOR MOTORBIKES. All the major car manufacturers are racing to stay ahead in the development of electric powered vehicles and the motorbike manufacturers are joining in. Harley-Davidson has two new electric bikes and has announced its first ever electric production motorcycle.