Automakers are racing to come up with the most innovative technology to make cars smarter, more connected and eco-friendly. A record 10 car companies are displaying their auto-tech wares at CES this year.
Companies like Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen unveiled technology ranging from connectivity to luxury to of course, self-driving cars.
Ford Experiments with Connectivity
In his keynote speech on Tuesday, Ford CEO Mark Fields talked about the launch of the company’s Ford Smart Mobility 25-project initiative. These experiments include an app to help Londoners find parking spaces and a smartphone-enabled car sharing project that will allow strangers to carpool to work.
“Even as we showcase connected cars and share our plans for autonomous vehicles, we are here at CES with a higher purpose,” Fields said. “We are driving innovation in every part of our business to be both a product and mobility company — and, ultimately, to change the way the world moves just as our founder Henry Ford did 111 years ago.”
A New Generation of Auto Consumers
Smart car designers are banking on consumers adding auto-tech to their list of must-haves when shopping for a new car. Connectivity is joining things like fuel economy and safety as a key factor in a car buying decision. Buyers are accustomed to having technology at their fingertips and they expect the same from their vehicles.
In fact, a survey from consulting firm Accenture found that 39 percent of potential buyers cited in-vehicle technology as the top selling point, while just 14 percent put horsepower and handling as their top priority.
- Chrysler CES showcased a nifty feature where your car would send its exact location to your smartphone. No more wandering aimlessly around the parking garage!
- Going even further to make parking less of a pain, computer chip maker Nvidia unveiled a chip that makes finding a parking spot easy. Just exit the car and say, “go park yourself” into your smartphone.
- Volkswagen’s Golf R Touch concept vehicle features a very cool touch-screened, gesture-controlled infotainment system.
- Mercedes-Benz unveiled a self-driving car with an emphasis on luxury. It measures 17 feet in length and 5 feet in height with high-resolution touchscreen display panels on the doors.
The innovations displayed at CES this year show that auto technology is rapidly improving and expanding. Infotainment, connectivity, and technology are no longer simply luxuries for automakers to offer only to high-paying customers – they are quickly becoming the standard across the board.