CES 2019 Cools on Self-Driving; Digital Cockpits, V2X & In-Vehicle Shopping Drive Mobility Market
Each year global automakers, component manufacturers and tech companies flock to Las Vegas to promote their visions of future mobility at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
Consulting firm McKinsey & Company defines mobility as “the market that includes public and private passenger transport as well as the transportation of goods” It’s a huge and diverse arena, where AI and 5G are disrupting established industries and enterprises while engendering a growing number of plucky startups.
Synced visited CES 2019 this week to check out new products and chart trends in the mobility market.
Self-driving slows; Safety gains traction
In the January 9 CES panel “The New Mobility Revolution,” moderator Alexandria Sage of Reuters Automotive Technology was not upbeat regarding the self-driving industry: “I feel like we are in a bit of a holding pattern.”
Although last year’s CES saw a heated race between global automakers and their latest self-driving technologies, the same hype was not there this year. Said Audi Executive Alex Haag, “until recently it was a competition of ‘we are launching [autonomous vehicles] in 2020 or 2021’; and you had these articles trying to see who was winning the race. Now I think people are taking a step back and saying ‘hey, we are going to launch when it’s ready.”
The fatal accident caused by an Uber self-driving test car last March in Arizona hamstrung enthusiasm in the self-driving industry, and 2018 witnessed but a few small pilot programs for testing self-driving vehicles under highly controlled circumstances.
Companies are taking a step back and turning their message from tech talk to safety commitments. There are a couple of trends to watch for in 2019. One is the safety features of Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems, or ADAS. At CES 2019, US GPU giant NVIDIA introduced the world’s first commercially available Level 2+ automated driving system, NVIDIA DRIVE AutoPilot, which will be packed into production-level cars by next year. Like other such products these days, it features in-vehicle driver monitoring that can detect if a driver becomes distracted or drowsy.