CES 2018 Part One: Connected Cars
Well yes, CES 2018 (formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show) is a monster. Everyone is there. Everyone is making announcements. Everything is bright and shiny (except for one of the big halls which had a 2 hour power failure—good to know that someone somewhere has a sense of irony).
The big news about connected cars at CES 2018, is that there was not a lot of new news. Incremental improvements ruled the day. ADAS and ADAS component vendors were out in force. Suppliers had some impressive next generation AI-enabled processors. OEMs had next generation ways to connect drivers to themselves, their dealers, and information about how their cars are doing. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is going to pour $200 million a year for five years into autonomous vehicle technology. https://tinyurl.com/y9626vls
One thing did jump out as new and different: Nissan’s Brain to Vehicle (aka B2V) Technology. Essentially Nissan is developing ways to relate the patterns of electromagnetic impulses in a driver’s brain to how the driver operates the car—for example, pulling out to pass, slowing for a hazard ahead, accelerating on corners, etc. Interpreting these patterns, the B2V technology then uses the car’s own steering or braking systems to change the vehicle’s behavior 0.2 to 0.5 seconds more quickly than the driver will do so. https://tinyurl.com/y8qeaet2
On the way to completely autonomous Level 5 vehicles, there are messy and potentially dangerous human:machine handoffs at Levels 2 and 3 (partial automation and conditional automation). Some OEMs and autonomous vehicle start-ups are talking about skipping those levels all together. Nissan might be developing B2V technology to solve at least some of those very difficult challenges. But, can they do it at all? And if so, can they do it quickly enough before Level 4 and 5 autonomous vehicles dominate the market?
(Note: This is Part One of a two part blog on CES 2018—focusing on connected cars. Part Two will focus on connected homes.)