For the casual observer, one might think that CES has evolved into some sort of high-tech auto show. And you know, they wouldn’t be completely wrong.
A record number of automakers attended CES this year, showcasing everything from smart infotainment systems to self-driving cars to in-car pizza ordering technology. Yes, you read that correctly.
No longer is everything proprietary. One of the coolest things I’ve seen this year is that many manufacturers are playing nice with third-party gadgets to enhance the driver’s overall experience. For example BMW and Mercedes-Benz are rolling out integration with the Samsung Galaxy Gear and Pebble smartwatches, allowing users to check on their cars simply by glancing at their wrists. Hyundai is following in similar suit by featuring Google Glass integration, letting drivers perform tasks such as unlock doors and start the car directly from Google Glass.
Advances in Autonomy
It’s becoming clear that self-driving cars are no longer a pipe dream. In fact, autonomous vehicles are getting very close to becoming a viable reality. Automakers BMW and Audi unveiled their latest self-driving car technology this week and conducted several demonstration drives. Nevada is one of only a handful of states that allow test drives of autonomous vehicles, which made CES the perfect venue.
To see BMW’s automated driving in action, click here.
And compared to early self-driving cars, which carried extreme bulk due to the hefty equipment needed, driverless cars this year actually look like actual consumer vehicles. Thanks to smaller, more advanced technology, computer systems that used to be about the size of a trunk can now fit in a package not much larger than a laptop.
Grab a Pizza on the Go!
Thanks to Domino’s and Ford, drivers can now order pizza without leaving the comfort of their driver’s seats.
“We’re thrilled to add Domino’s to the ever-expanding lineup of mobile apps Ford drivers can use hands-free,” said Julius Marchwicki, global product manager for Ford SYNC AppLink. “Americans love pizza, and now they can have one ready for pickup or delivery when they are on their way home or heading to a gathering with friends.”
Customers who have a registered Pizza Profile on their Domino’s mobile app and the Ford SYNC® AppLink™ in-car connectivity system will be able to place orders from their vehicle with just a few voice-activated commands.
Now is the ability to order a pizza while cruising down the highway the pinnacle of automotive innovation? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean that this new technology won’t lead to more innovation down the road.