CES 2020 HIGHLIGHTS
Sustainability was clearly in focus of this year’s automotive showfloor at CES. Besides the wish to merge with nature through our vehicle as illustrated by Daimler’s AVTR concept, many companies presented sustainability initiatives during the event. Bosch, Faurecia and Daimler plan to achieve carbon neutral production respectively in the years 2021, 2023 and 2030. Microsoft who says to be climate-neutral since 2012, announced to decrease another 75% of its emissions until 2030.
Sustainability is also in progress in interior materials. Fisker for example will produce carpeting for its series vehicles from regenerated nylon of abandoned fishing nets and plastics waste from the ocean. For the interiors of their concept vehicles, Audi, BMW and Daimler used wood from controlled plantations besides recycled plastic materials.
With its announcement to build a climate neutral city for 2.000 residents at its former production plant Higashi Fuji at mount Fuji in Japan, Toyota attracted a lot of attention. Groundbreaking for the “Woven City” will take place beginning of 2021 based on the plans of Danish architect Bjake Ingels. The town will be fully powered with hydrogen. The traffic concept foresees individual mobility with electric rollers and bikes as well as shared mobility shuttles.
While German car manufacturers are focused on battery electric vehicles, Hyundai Mobis displayed usage of its hydrogen-based fuel cell in different means of transport. Faurecia presented components for fuel cell driven vehicles emerging from its JV founded with Michelin last year. And Nikola Motors showcased for the first time its fuel cell driven tractor trailer at CES.
However, with its 110-kWh battery based on graphene-based organic cell chemistry without any rare earths and metals, Daimler showed that also batteries can be recyclable. The company develops the battery together with IBM.
Shared transport onshore and airborne in view of traffic reduction and time savings was another important theme at CES 2020. Besides Bell who showcased together with Uber Elevate the evolution of their battery-electric drone for passenger transport, Hyundai celebrated the world premiere of its drone concept together with Uber Elevate.
While Hyundai focusses on affordability and time-to-market, Bell, as experienced aviation company, concentrates on aviation standards and safety requirements.
In addition, Bell presented this year an app through which users can book their journey and operators can dispatch and supervise their drones and manage maintenance schedules. Remains to be seen which partner Uber Elevate considers more interesting in the long-term.
Besides these air shuttles, also shuttle buses played an important role. The branch agrees that in the short-term, for legal as well as for price reasons, only robotaxis, shuttles and commercial vehicles will be equipped with autonomous driving functions. Mobileye calculates a surcharge of $ 10.000 – $ 15.000 for L4/5 driving functions per vehicle. A surcharge that also originates, despite decreasing prices, from Lidar sensors that were presented by a multitude of suppliers at CES 2020.
In order to achieve an acceptable price for autonomous driving in individually owned cars, Mobileye has introduced a concept at CES 2020 in which L4/5 driving is only supported through camera-based perception.
Redundancies for verification of environment perception data and for measurement are only created through software-based conversion of 2D into 3D images, through comparison of captured images, and through other image recognition mechanisms combining different cameras, image fusion, etc. Together with Mobileye’s new ECU EPM6 that will be launched in 2023, Mobileye expects a premium of only $ 5.000 for autonomous driving making its integration into consumer vehicles possible.
Having a realistic market introduction of L4 autonomous driving in 2025 and later in mind, the branch currently focuses on commercialization of L2+ ADAS functions with the objective to avoid accidents while driving manually. ZF, who presented L2+ solutions at CES 2020 estimates the surcharge of less than $ 1.000 per vehicle.
In line with this trend, Magna announced the week after CES that they will stop pursuing development of L4/5 driving functions for the moment.
In addition to environment sensing, L2+ functions are supported by interior cameras observing driver and passengers. On top of distraction, cognitive load, posture and position, more and more functions like e.g. passenger presence detection, visual seat belt control, hands position, gaze detection, gesture detection, passenger identification and many other functions are unified into these camera-based systems in order to exploit the full added value. As this system integration was not only shown in shuttle concepts at CES but also in future series vehicles like the Byton M-Byte or the FF91 from Faraday Future, in the short-term it can be expected that diverse single components fall victim to this dematerialization.
Overall, development in the interior with view to well-being-on-board and shared mobility continues. Besides productivity increase like e.g. working on board with office functions and video conferencing at Faurecia and Byton, the achievement of time saving through e.g. the integration of a drycleaner closet like in the ThinQ from LG, the vehicle interior should become the extended living room that invites for lounging with seamless multimedia content. Users are identified through their vehicle ID or their mobile devices and can take along their individual content and preferences. Individual sound and display zones were further improved hereto and provide confidentiality of content and privacy of fellow passengers. New voice recognition concepts that have been demonstrated by Cerence, Visteon and IAV at CES understand and reply in the respective native language of the user and manage access rights through allocation of voices to users.
At this, the digitalization of the overall sound system is very interesting. Continental and Faurecia even remove physical speakers and generate the whole sound through vibrating surfaces leading to cost advantages besides significant weight reduction and packaging advantages.
In order to support communication with users and to display content many new display concepts have been presented at this year’s CES. Transparent screens can be used as window or display depending on the situation. Deep black displays as presented for example by Visteon or Gentex melt into the surrounding surfaces with elegant piano varnish finish and can also not be perceived when being turned off.
As already past year, overall it can be concluded that CES 2020 drives automotive visions further to salable products with the perspective to support accident free driving in the short-term. Mid/ end of the 2020th it can be expected to see more highly automated vehicles on roads. A point in time, at which following today’s perspective we may also see first drones for passenger transportation in the sky.
The “CES 2020 Automotive Innovation Report” gives a comprehensive overview of automotive technologies displayed at this year’s CES, explaining which companies work on which vehicle and sensor technologies for highly automated driving functions as well as for safety, comfort and multimedia functions for the vehicle interior.