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Autonomous cars are coming, and a lot sooner than you think! Car manufacturers went all out at CES 2017 this year – revealing a host of incredible concept and production cars at the show with a big focus on self-driving, artificially intelligent vehicles. We’ll take a look at some of the top autonomous cars from the not-so-far-away future.
Let’s start with the not-so-autonomous-but-awesome car technology and get that out of the way first.
BMW’s Inside Future concept car was designed to give CES attendees a glimpse of what it might look like to use cars that are fully connected and offer full self-driving features.
The company’s new HoloActive Touch technology is incredibly impressive and belongs at the top of any list featuring future car technology from CES 2017.
Holograms and ultra-sonic sound waves create a truly unique in-car experience. Buttons float in space and when you press one of them (in mid-air), actual tactile haptic feedback is felt in response to interactions. The technology might sound like something from a science-fiction movie but isn’t nearly as far-fetched. It uses three main components to make the magic happen – a projector that can project 3D images into space, an ultrasonic sound system, and a camera that captures the motions of pointing at the graphics and lets the ultrasound system know where your finger is pointing so that it can send sound waves to your fingertips to provide the haptic feedback. It's an overload of awesome!
Toyota’s new Concept-i UX car has everything from haptic feedback to artificial intelligence to create a new kind of relationship with its driver. It has a bit of race car and an equal measure of Star Trekkie going on and it’s smart enough to know your needs and even your emotions.
A built-in personal digital assistant named Yui lives in the 3D dashboard, greets you with a friendly ‘Hello’ and communicates with you via light, sound and also haptic touch. Yui uses AI and machine learning technology to keep learning and will be able to anticipate your needs before you know it. Toyota believes that Yui will become less of a machine and more of a pal for drivers, analyzing your emotions and taking the necessary actions to get you to your destination safely.
Faraday Future’s FF 91 could just be the fastest electric car ever made, accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 2.39 seconds. The car manufacturer claims that it's a "new species" of car that is smarter, more connected, and faster than anything else on the road.
And it’s not just a concept car. Faraday Future has built at least one all-electronic autonomous car which it unveiled at CES 2017. And they unveiled it in rockstar fashion too! Rather than just talk about their car, the company demonstrated the FF 91’s performance and capabilities in front of a pretty large audience who watched on from a massive tent in Las Vegas.
The FF 91 also promises an impressive battery life of up to 378 miles on a single charge thanks to its 130-kilowatt hours of battery energy. The rims adjust kinetically as you drive and the car is fitted with 30 sensors around its body, including 10 cameras, 13 long and short-range sensors, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and a pop-up 3D LIDAR. It drives and parks itself and will even open the door for you. Pretty darn cool.
As mentioned in our blog post, ‘The coolest AI-enabled tech and gadgets at CES 2017’, Nvidia CEO Jeff-Hsun Huang announced Xavier – an AI Co-Pilot that’ll use artificial intelligence and deep learning to not only be able to understand an autonomous car’s outside environment, but also be able to see and learn from what’s going on inside the car.
This new AI tech will be able to read the driver's lips and watch their eye movement to understand and calculate what needs to take place next. Nvidia and Audi have promised that they'll put the world’s most advanced autonomous cars on the road by 2020.
Honda, Bosch, Chrysler, Hyundai also showed off some impressive autonomous cars. One thing’s for sure – the future is very bright for the self-driving vehicle and the future is pretty much here. If you’re keen on reading more about what went down at CES 2017, have a look at this list we put together of more top technology trends from the event.