Our team of 9 analysts have walked over
130,000 steps today to track down and test the latest innovations at CES 2019. We
still have a lot more steps to go, but we wanted to (no, needed to) stop for a
quick to share some of the most interesting highlights:
Audi looked less like a car maker today,
and more like an entertainment company. While we were initially sceptical about
their Immersive In-Car Entertainment system, which uses vehicle suspension and
seat actuators to add a ‘4D’ haptic experience to in-car movies (similar to
what you get in some cinemas), we were impressed with the experience. They also
announced Holoride, an independent spin-off that aims to make in-car Virtual
Reality, well, a reality! The company will offer an SDK to content developers
and other car makers that can optimize content for in-car viewing and minimize
the likelihood of motion sickness.
Key point: Audi clearly
sees a future where the car itself is no longer a differentiator – it’s what
you can do inside that matters.
We were given a demonstration of HERE’s new
SoMo app (among various other demos), which sits within their mobility marketplace.
The world is not short of mobility apps, but where SoMo differs is that it puts
the ‘Why’ at the center of journey planning for friends and family. Users are
able to create events, such as a Wedding or concerts, and then invite friends
to coordinate travel arrangements. It supports car pooling and public
transportation, and eventually HERE hopes to integrate with players like Lyft
Key point: It’s a nice
shift away from viewing mobility as a purely utilitarian activity (getting from
A-to-B), and seeing it as it most often is: a social activity.
Choosing a booth in the middle of the
automotive hall was a clear message from Bell that it sees itself as part of
the mobility ecosystem. While many question the viability (commercially,
technically and legally) of flying taxis, Bell is confident of operating
services across cities by 2025. Today they let us sit inside their latest
prototype, which felt like a strange cross between a car, a helicopter and an oversized
drone. Although much of the Autonomous logic is being developed in-house, they
are partnering with Thales for parts of the solution.
Key point: With a range of
150 miles, this kind of flying taxi would largely compete against inter-city
trains or Hyperloops, rather than cars. But it’ll be important for the car
industry to track their progress over the coming years.
Tune in tomorrow for our next daily
briefing, which will include a greater focus on suppliers and start-ups. And
don’t forget to contact us if you’re interested in receiving our Event Report!