The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is always deliciously overwhelming: a futuristic carnival of incredible advancements on the brink of becoming realities. This year’s conference was no different, with an automotive exhibit that mesmerized people of all ages with concepts once reserved for fantasy and science fiction.
These new cars did a particularly great job of showcasing the latest in self-driving and connected vehicle technologies:
Audi’s been working on this concept car since 2017, with production slated to begin in 2021. Boasting four motors and an amazing 435-to-497-mile driving range per 30-minute charge, this self-driver has been built without a visible steering wheel or pedals — which means lots more lounging room for you.
BMW Vision iNext
Imagine sipping your favorite beverage while relaxing in a lushly carpeted space with a wooden coffee table that responds to your touch — and it’s all in a car. BMW’s newest concept has touch-controlled interfaces and projection screens all throughout its elegant interior.
Look, ma, no hands! And no human driving! This new car’s level 4 autonomous system is fully capable of taking the wheel for you, but if you’re feeling nostalgic, you can always just retract the external sensors and drive it on your own. And of course, Amazon Alexa will be there to help out.
Byton’s more economical M-Byte, itself priced at around $45,000, is all set to go into production in 2019. A massive 48-inch touchscreen takes up its entire dashboard, with built-in cameras and sensors working tirelessly to ensure the safety of the electric SUV and its passengers.
Fans of Transformers will definitely want to hug the Hyundai Elevate. This wonder of a car deftly walks and climbs over barriers with expandable robotic legs that extend out from an adaptive, multi-use chassis, which itself is scaled down when the car is in conventional driving mode. Experience sci-fi first-hand as the Elevate climbs five-foot vertical walls or clears a five-foot gap with passengers comfortably strapped into their seats inside.
2020 Lincoln Aviator
This 450-horsepower plug-in hybrid lets drivers unlock its doors from the comfort of their smartphones. It also makes things easier on the road with features like park assist, adaptive suspension, and traffic jam assist. That gives you more time to be engulfed by its Revel Ultima 3D audio system, which plays your music out of an amazing 28 speakers at once.
Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic
Imagine a car whose body could be altered to best suit your changing needs. Now stop imagining, because that car is very real. If you need it to be, the Vision Urbanetic can be a passenger ride-sharing vehicle with space for 20 people, or it can be a cargo van if you need to haul freight and packages. The car’s base takes care of the autonomous driving, fully equipped with propulsion, electrical, and motor systems.
Nissan IMx Kuro
Simple — as in simply fantastic — describes Nissan’s IMx Kuro, a fully independent, emissions-free electric crossover car. Its exterior is basic, it’s interior roomy, and it comes with a birds-eye OLED display and wood-grain interior trim that are sure to turn your drives into enlightened journeys.
Bonus: Nvidia Drive Autopilot
Ever yearn for an airplane-like autopilot feature in your car? Your wait is almost over. Nvidia, a leading graphics card manufacturer, exhibited several new pieces of hardware at this year’s CES, including a mega-powered computer that neatly fits in your trunk and equips your car with assistance systems that operate braking, steering, and acceleration to keep drivers safer. It’s scheduled to go into production sometime in 2020.