5 Most Significant CES Debuts

5 Most Significant CES Debuts
January 11, 2016 @ 10:00 am by Jake Holmes

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is as much an auto show as Detroit or Frankfurt, with major automakers showing their visions for how the car and computing worlds will continue to collide. Some of the debuts are just brash show cars, like a Bentley done up with Monster car-audio gear and a McLaren 675LT that JVCKenwood retrofitted with a head-up display. But others give us an idea of how cars will operate over the next decade as autonomous, internet-connected vehicles proliferate. These are the five most significant car debuts of CES 2016.

 Like Tesla, Volkswagen has designed its new electric car with the batteries mounted in the floor, and motors at either axle. Volkswagen says MEB is flexible enough to range in length from subcompact to midsize cars -- larger cars would have space for more batteries and thus would have a greater driving range. Compared to the Budd-e concept, “We can imagine that we can build even larger cars, but also much smaller cars,” says Volkswagen head of electronics development Dr. Volkmar Tanneberger. The car may also use an 800-volt charging system under development by sibling brand Porsche, allowing the Budd-e concept's 101-kWh battery pack to be 80-percent recharged in just 30 minutes.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt
Though it has sold the Volt plug-in hybrid for several years, Chevrolet is finally ready to start producing its all-electric Bolt. First shown at last year's Detroit auto show, the Chevrolet Boltwill go into production by the end of this year with the 200-mile driving range that Chevrolet originally promised last year. It's a big step as Chevy attempts to leapfrog the EV driving ranges of the Bolt's key rivals, most of which have driving ranges closer to100 miles. If the Bolt sticks to Chevrolet's promised near-$30,000 price tag, too, it would put serious pressure on other affordable electrics.2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV badge and charger

Volkswagen Budd-e concept's internet connectivity
Aside from its sort-of Microbus looks and intriguing electric drivetrain, the Budd-e is significant because it is perhaps the best example at CES of how “The Internet of Things” will reach cars. Budd-e drivers can check the contents of their fridge remotely, activate their robot vacuum cleaner, or see a video feed of who's at their front door -- all remotely. This concept comes as Ford announces its Sync infotainment systems will soon link to the Amazon Echo and Wink home-automation services; a Ford driver could ask the Amazon Alexa system to close his or her garage door or turn off the porch lights, for instance. As homes become increasingly wired, automakers are ready to let drivers interact with their houses from behind the wheel.

BMW I Vision Future Interaction Concept 09

BMW i Vision Future Interaction Concept's gesture controls
The BMW 7 Series already offers a few simple gesture controls, like twisting your fingers to change the radio volume, but the i Vision Future Interaction concept shows just how far gesture controls could advance with its “AirTouch” interface. This concept is significant because, like many other automakers at CES, BMW is making a strong move away from physical controls. Nearly every concept car here -- including the VW Budd-e and the Audi Virtual Dashboard -- has its occupants touching a screen or waving their hands in the air to control infotainment systems. Buttons and knobs are just so 2015, it turns out.

Volvo and Ericsson In-Car Video
So your future car can drive itself. What will you do with all that free time on your hands? Volvoand Ericsson think you'll watch TV, as the two companies plan to work on technology tostream high-definition live and recorded video into future autonomous cars. The available video clips could be tailored to the length of your trip, says Volvo, so you won't start watching aLord of the Rings marathon if you're only driving for 15 minutes. With self-driving vehicles set to give us back extra free time on our commutes, expect to see more companies coming up with clever ways for passengers to entertain themselves.

Original Source: http://www.automobilemag.com/features/lists/the-5-most-significant-automotive-debuts-of-ces-2016/