CES 2020 Automotive: The Future Looks Like a Box


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CES week has been true to the themes set forth by Steve Koenig on Sunday, and having spent most of Wednesday in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center—the automotive pavilion—I can say that Koenig was right: the electric vehicle has reached an inflection point. And along with electric propulsion came autonomous operation.

Electric vehicles were everywhere in the North Hall, taking the place of prominence with many for the major players in the automotive space. But what stood out to me was the two schools of design with respect to emerging autonomous electric vehicles. They were either shoeboxes on wheels or sleek, ultra-stylish, and super-hip vehicles.IMG_0415.JPG

Utility vehicles were everywhere on the show floor, ranging from high-capacity people-mover styles to the example application on display at the OSRAM booth: an autonomous vehicle that serves as a mobile parcel locker for packages delivered by shipping companies (e.g., UPS, or DHL, or Amazon).

There were a multitude of takes on the rolling shoe box throughout the show.

CES-nolan-futurebus.jpg

Even the Toyota Woven City project depends on such autonomous vehicles for slow-moving, utilitarian, local transport within the city plan. Other companies showing these rolling boxes included Cerence and Fiat Chrysler, among others. But then, things changed.

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