Automotive tech highlights at this year’s CES 2018 in Las Vegas include artificial intelligence that controls infotainment screen, cars that can see around blind corners and even vehicles that can read your mind.
CES has rapidly become a way for automakers to preview their developments in car technology, from production-ready to wildly speculative. Here are three trends showcased at CES that could be a sign of things to come.
AI-POWERED INFOTAINMENT SYSTEMS
Both Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz are showing how they will use artificial intelligence in a vehicle’s infotainment system to turn it into a personal assistant.
Hyundai’s Intelligent Personal Agent is a voice-control technology that was co-developed by Silicon Valley-based SoundHound Inc., which specializes in voice-enabled AI.
The intelligent part of such software is its ability to recognize multiple commands and complete each task accordingly. So a driver will be able to ask their infotainment system to note an appointment in the diary and search for a favourite album track in just one sentence.
Hyundai’s technology functions much like Apple’s Siri or Google Assistant. It’s designed to respond to commands but also to proactively aid drivers by, for example, reminding them of upcoming meetings and recommending a departure time based on traffic conditions.
It will also allow drivers to voice control common functions such as the air conditioning or the central locking system. Hyundai plans to install the Intelligent Personal Agent in new models as early as 2019.
Mercedes-Benz is also debuting a new infotainment interface for its compact vehicles that’s based on artificial intelligence and what it calls an “intuitive” operating system.
CARS THAT TALK TO EVERYTHING
Ford is using this year’s CES event to announce its recommitment to making all of its vehicles connected by 2019.
The automotive giant is announcing plans to adopt what’s called “cellular vehicle-to-everything” technology (C-V2X for short) in the coming years. This technology will make it possible for its vehicles to communicate with smart traffic signals, other vehicles and even a gas pump—to make wireless payments, for example.
The cellular vehicle-to-everything technology also has the ability to communicate at short range, even when there is no cellular signal. So a vehicle would have the ability to see around blind corners and understand its environment in inclement weather. For example, it could detect icy conditions on a road and warn the driver and other connected vehicles of the hazard.
Ford believes that cellular vehicle-to-everything technology is the key to getting more automakers to commit to connected-car systems and to standardize the technology that will be used.
Nissan is using CES to demonstrate that the “brain” in an autonomous vehicle doesn’t always have to be a computer and the company will be one of the first to conduct research on brain-to-vehicle (B2V) technology.
To engage the technology, the driver puts on a wired cap which measures brain wave activity then analyzed by the vehicle’s autonomous systems which then anticipate your intended actions.
Nissan says that brain-to-vehicle technology can predict driver behavior to shorten reaction times when a driver is in control.
Brain-to-vehicle technology also is being tested to detect and evaluate discomfort during driving. This could be used to match the car’s driving style to the driver’s own style when the vehicle is in autonomous mode.
This technology is still many years away from making it into a production vehicle, but Nissan says it shows the potential of combining human and artificial intelligence.