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All week Auto Futures will be publishing news and special reports from the world’s most important technology (and arguably automotive and mobility) event, CES 2021. This year the show has gone virtual. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less exciting than usual.

GM’s Cadillac brand has provided a sneak peek at the upcoming ultra-luxury, fully electric CELESTIQ show car.

CELESTIQ’s roof is expected to be one of the first to feature a four-quadrant, suspended-particle-device smart glass. With this smart glass, each occupant of the vehicle can set their own level of roof transparency. 

The driver and front-seat passenger will enjoy a pillar-to-pillar freeform display with active privacy to help mitigate driver distraction while rear-seat passengers have personalized entertainment screens. Console screens between seats in the front and back will separate individualized comfort settings from entertainment displays to minimize distractions.

In a press release, Cadillac says: ‘The foundation of CELESTIQ is the modular Ultium battery platform, which enables greater design flexibility. The CELESTIQ design and engineering teams took advantage of the new space and explored opportunities to artfully integrate cutting edge technology’. 

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Sony Corporation has announced the completion of its VISION-S prototype vehicle in December 2020, which has been under development with the goal of contributing to the evolution of mobility, and that it has begun public road tests in Europe.

Sony says it will continue to further develop the vehicle, and plans to conduct driving tests in other regions as well going forward. The VISION-S Prototype was revealed at last year’s CES.

Sony has also announced it’s working with AIMotive to evolve the car’s automated driving system.

Izumi Kawanishi, Senior Vice President of Sony Corporation in charge of AI Robotics Business, says: “AImotive brings excitement to the automated driving industry, creating scalable and reliable automated systems. Working with them to further develop technology for the VISION-S concept is a decision that we believe will contribute to the future of mobility.” 

“We are super excited to be working with internationally respected Sony,” adds László Kishonti, CEO & Founder at AImotive. “This is a great collaboration for us, helping us better understand the key challenges in developing and integrating advanced ADAS technologies from well-respected industry leaders. We look forward to working closely with Sony to complete realizing the VISION-S Prototype.” 

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Verizon, UPS, and Skyward have announced a connected drone retail delivery partnership at CES 2021.

They aim to deliver retail products with drones connected to Verizon 4G LTE, as well as 5G testing and integration for delivery. The companies will begin the service in Florida.

“We will need the ability to manage and support multiple drones, flying simultaneously, dispatched from a centralized location, operating in a secure and safe environment. To do this at scale, alongside Verizon and Skyward, we’ll need the power of 5G,” says Carol B. Tomé, CEO of UPS.

Rima Qureshi, Chief Strategy Officer at Verizon, adds: “We’re just beginning to see how the power of 5G Ultra Wideband will transform the way businesses operate. By partnering with UPS and other innovative companies, we can learn from each other’s expertise and collaborate to create solutions that help move the world forward.”

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Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the new ‘Mercedes Travel Knowledge’ feature for the MBUX Hyperscreen at its virtual CES press conference. This intelligent function evaluates map data and its surroundings and provides information about interesting landmarks along the route, from individual buildings or points of interest to entire cities.

The driver or passenger can simply ask a question as they drive past. This feature will be available immediately in the new S-Class in addition to the EQS. 

With a width of 141 centimetres, MBUX’s unique screen unit consists of three apparently seamlessly merged displays.

Sajjad Khan, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz AG and CTO, says: “The goal was a concept without distracting the driver or complicated operation, but one that is capable of learning thanks to artificial intelligence. The result speaks for itself: the MBUX Hyperscreen understands the customer better and better and thus delivers a customised, personalised infotainment and operating offer before the user has to click on anything. This is customer orientation and digital thinking in 2021.”

Fca Participates Virtually In Ces

FCA Group is offering three-dimensional product tours and videos related to FCA’s technology and innovation. A Virtual Brand Ambassador communicates with visitors, guides viewers through a multitude of visual and interactive experiences. The tour offers a deeper understanding of FCA’s products and technologies through a 3D experience, which includes 12 FCA vehicles.

FCA is also worked with Google to leverage its cloud-streaming technology – developed with Google – to deliver a photo-realistic Augmented Reality (AR) model of the Jeep Wrangler 4xe to viewers’ phones.

CES attendees can access the AR experience via a QR code on FCA’s virtual showroom, which allows them to interact with the 3D model of the Jeep, change its colours and inspect details of the interior. 

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Twenty years on since the BMW iDrive made its debut BMW is announcing the next chapter in its display and operating system at CES. The new iDrive has been updated to offer new cloud-based and autonomous services. 

For example, BMW drivers can receive and display hazard warnings from other BMW vehicles and make predictions on the availability of parking spaces at a destination.

BMW says: ‘The next-generation BMW iDrive is set up to utilise the potential of an intelligently connected vehicle more extensively than ever and so make the mobility experience even safer, even more comfortable and convenient, and even richer in variety’.

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LiDAR manufacturer Blickfeld will unveil its automotive LiDAR products for the first time at digital CES 2021. After commercially launching the industrial LiDAR “Cube 1” in 2020, the Munich-based company is now presenting its automotive LiDAR suite consisting of a mid-range as well as a long-range sensor. Blickfeld is also introducing its MEMS Scanning Module 118 as a product.

“Beam deflection in light-based sensing is a challenge for which we have developed a unique solution,” said Terje Noevig, COO and managing director at Blickfeld. “By making our MEMS Scanning Module 118 available as a product, we hope to enable further technology advancements for our customers. Vision Mini and Vision Plus represent our automotive suite for automated driving from Level 2-5, enabling automation of driving functions from slow maneuvers in the city to driving at highway speeds.”

As part of its digital CES exhibition, Bridgestone will unveil ‘Bridgestone World’, an interactive city showcasing how its innovations will power a more sustainable mobility future. Live online showcases and on-demand feature videos will also foster opportunities for collaboration with partners across the technology spectrum.

“Active, intelligent and digitally integrated technologies are critical to our goal of creating new value for society and customers through sustainable mobility and advanced solutions,” said Paolo Ferrari, president & CEO, Bridgestone Americas. “As we progress on this journey, we are eager to engage with other innovators and leaders to imagine a better future for mobility.”

Cadillac Lyriq

GM’s Cadillac brand has announced a collaboration with Territory Studio, the company behind the Cyberpunk 2077, gaming brand to enhance its in-car infotainment system. The next-generation user experience will feature in the recently unveiled Cadillac LYRIQ. The luxury brand’s first all-electric SUV, features a massive 33-inch diagonal advanced LED display.

Marti Romances, co-founder and creative director, Territory Studio, adds: “As creative specialists, we thrive on future vision challenges, crafting experiences that help people access, understand and benefit from digital technology through intuitive design. Our deep expertise in 2D and 3D real-time graphics allows seamless access to all on-board technologies in safe and precise ways, transforming the in-car experience as connectivity becomes a central part of the experience.”

GM is expect to be one of the stars of this year’s CES. You can follow all of its announcement here – GM Exhibit Zero

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