In recent years, more than 170,000 visitors have gathered in Las Vegas on a regular basis – not to try gambling. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the world’s largest consumer electronics trade show, has so far attracted crowds to the Nevada desert every year. However, the pandemic also forced CES 2021 (January 11-14) to connect online. This time, the organizer expects approximately 1,800 “exhibitors”, which is less than half the usual number.
For the automotive industry and its suppliers, who use CES as the most important high-tech show at the beginning of the year, the break in Corona means that all innovations, lectures and discussions take place exclusively virtually. In 2020, the entire hall was reserved for big names in the industry and their sometimes rich exhibition stands, and many CEOs had their theatrical performances in Las Vegas. The big influence of the show in Las Vegas meant that the traditional Detroit car show changed its dates.
Free test now!
Particularly exciting: At CES, established vehicle manufacturers have been meeting their most aggressive competitors, large technology companies, for several years. For example, the race between Google and Amazon is pushing their voice assistants into cars. And last year, after a long absence from CES, Apple brought in addition to iPhones, iPads and Macs new speculations about its own iCar – again in 2021. The program for CES again gives the car an important place, as a look at the program shows. Some of the most important things at a glance.
Focus on the German start-up Sono
A small car manufacturer from Munich is pushing for a big scene: Sono Motors. The German start-up wants to present a new prototype of its solar electric car Sion in Las Vegas. Through Corona, Sono sees himself well on the way to series production. The crowdfunding campaign, which was completed in early 2020 and received 100 million euros, helped. The appearance of CES is accompanied by speculation that Sono wants to list on the US stock market – there is no confirmation from Munich. Either way, Sono is closely watched by the automotive industry as a career change.
Mercedes announces its world premiere: the new generation of its MBUX infotainment system. With the operation and display of infotainment, comfort and vehicle functions on an extra-wide “hyperscreen”, the Daimler subsidiary wants to set new standards in the industry thanks to artificial intelligence. Last Thursday, Daimler boss Ola Källenius unveiled the new MBUX screen for the first time and will be launched in the first Mercedes EQS electric sedan later this year.
[Wenn Sie alle aktuellen Entwicklungen zur Coronavirus-Pandemie live auf Ihr Handy haben wollen, empfehlen wir Ihnen unsere App, die Sie hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen können.]
Audi presents a sports version of its first electric car, the e-tron GT. The electric sports car is presented as a competitor of Tesla. BMW also wants to reveal more about how the manufacturer intends to build a Tesla with an electric iX at the end of the year. In 2019, BMW presented the vehicle at CES as a study (iNext).
Tesla goes underground
Tesla herself goes underground in Las Vegas. Elon Musk’s Boring Company plans to complete the first two tunnels under the city. The $ 52 million “Las Vegas Loop” is reminiscent of an underground highway that will allow autonomous TeslaS, 3 and X to carry up to 10,000 people an hour in the future. Tesla originally did not plan to produce cars specifically for the Loop.
The world’s largest automotive supplier, Bosch, is highlighting climate change, charging infrastructure and connectivity. Among other things, new products should be about “climate-friendly smart mobility”. This year, CES focuses on “Technologies and network services that can help move from point A to point B in a greener way”, as well as the central role of software and electronics in vehicles. At the beginning of the year, a new “Cross-Domain Computing Solutions” division with 17,000 employees was launched. Bosch develops hardware and software for computers, sensors and control units.
Continental and ZF were also represented
Competitive company Bosch ZF is showing a new open software platform that will “mediate” between the vehicle’s computer operating system and its software applications. Goal: less interface, faster communication and less complexity. In other words, what all car manufacturers are urgently looking for right now. The platform should be available in production vehicles from 2024.
Among other things, Continental will present three CES-awarded sensor and entertainment technologies. For example, a “transparent trailer system” that allows the driver to see the area behind the trailer. The company also shows a long-range radar sensor that supports automated driving systems from partial to full automation.
Autonomous management as a current topic
Autonomous driving usually takes up a lot of space at CES. The conferences concern, inter alia, the dialogue between vehicles and infrastructure supported by 5G. Google’s subsidiary Waymo, starting with Aurora, has a presentation here, which has purchased activities in this area from Uber, in particular the delivery providers Udelv and Caterpillar. But other names from the technological world will also be expressed: Alexa Automotive (Amazon), Blackberry, IBM, LG, MobilEye and Microsoft.
CES is opening a car year that will be difficult for other trade fair organizers as well. The Geneva Motor Show, which was canceled at the last minute in 2020 due to Covid, will not take place in 2021. The Paris Motor Show, which also had to be canceled, will not return to the program until 2022. The Detroit Motor Show was postponed until the autumn.
Initially, the focus is on Munich, where the International Motor Show (IAA) will take place for the first time in September. An event is planned that deviates from the previous concept of the fair and is more modern, modern and less focused on the car. IAA is a must for domestic manufacturers and suppliers. Nevertheless, the renovated fair did not gain its innovative reputation. CES in Las Vegas is further. It has been one of the most important technological events in the world for more than 50 years. “In recent years, it has also established itself as a major event for the mobility industry, especially in the field of network technologies,” says Bosch.