Getting into the nitty gritty of modern technology

The annual Consumer Electronics Show, better known as the popular acronym “CES,” is now upon us, promising us car lovers a futuristic, sci-fi-flavored look at all the tech goodies the major automakers are tinkering with at the moment. With a schedule filled to capacity with geeky delights and nerdy awesomeness, we thought we’d pick out five highlights worth checking out.

Continue reading to learn more about five things to look for at the 2018 CES.

Quick – What Is CES?

5 Things To Look For At The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show
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First held in 1967, the Consumer Electronics Show is an annual trade show put on by the Consumer Technology Association. Highlighting the latest and greatest tech advances in a wide array of industries, CES has gradually become a major event for car makers, offering an opportunity to unveil new infotainment features, navigation features, connected car features, autonomous features, drive systems, and even full-blown concept cars to the roughly 170,000 attendees expected to appear.

As the car world continues to overlap more completely with digital technology, CES is now even more integral to the auto industry. This year will see that trend continue.

5 Things To Look For At The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show

1. Nissan’s Weird Brain-To-Car Communication

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Forget voice commands, forget gesture control – what about simply thinking about what you want your car to do? That’s exactly what Nissan is previewing at CES this year with this odd Brain-To-Car technology, which is apparently able to predict the driver’s intentions and even his or her mood by monitoring their brainwave activity. The system then reacts to inputs before they happen by tweaking settings for the dampers, throttle response, and the like.

Nissan says the tech can enhance the “driving pleasure and experience in autonomous driving vehicles,” but to be perfectly honest, we’re not entirely sure how the tech makes the car less reliant on human inputs. Perhaps it could put us on a path where you just have to think your way home, rather than working the wheel and pedals in the traditional driving fashion. Perhaps we should think of it like an adaptive automatic transmission, but for the entire car.

Read the full story here.

2. Truly Autonomous Vehicles, Courtesy Of Lyft

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Raise your hand if you used a ride-hailing service like Lyft to ferry you around on New Year’s Eve last weekend. Well, I can’t actually see you, my dear readers, but my guess is that most of you have your hand raised right now. If not, then you at least thought about raising your hand, but didn’t out of fear of looking weird.

The point is companies like Lyft are doing pretty well for themselves these days, but the next most-obvious evolution for quick, convenient transport has to be the wide-spread integration of fully autonomous vehicles. As such, Lyft is getting ahead of the game by developing exactly that and will offer a preview of its work thus far at CES, giving interested participants a chance to hitch a ride in a self-driving BMW 5 Series sedan from any one of 20 different locations in Sin City. So far, though, no word on whether or not the robo chauffeur will be taking tips...

Read the full story here.

3. Rinspeed Snap Concept

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If you love odd, yet oddly intriguing concept cars, then Swiss automaker and tuner Rinspeed should be right up your alley. Past offerings have included the sQuba from 2008, a Lotus Elise modified to perform as a submarine, and the Budii from 2014, a surprisingly self-aware autonomous vehicle designed to constantly learn and become more and more efficient at its job.

Rinspeed’s latest is the Snap, a modular transportation solution that’s adaptable to any and all situations thanks to its Lego-like ability to fit together in, well, a snap. Whether you want a mobile living space, a place to host friends, or even just a way to move around freight, the Snap has the right pieces to suit the job. All-electric drive and fully autonomous capability are obviously two of the primary features here.

Read our full review on the Rinspeed Snap Concept

4. Byton Concept Vehicle

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This concept from Byton is also debuting alongside the legions of all-electric, highly autonomous concepts at CES this year, but unlike the Rinspeed, the Byton is a little more down to Earth. If the name is unfamiliar, Byton is an international extension of the Chinese firm Future Mobility Corporation. Based in Santa Clara, California, and staffed by former executives from BMW, Tesla, and Nissan, this is one up-and-comer that might have some traction.

The concept is heavily focused on offering high-end digital technology, with ride sharing and connectivity at the top of the priority list. The company is even calling the car concept a smart device. Inside, there are several screens provided for each of the passengers, plus there’s an enormous screen taken a prominent spot across the dash. Voice control and gesture control are included, plus there’s a good deal of support for all the popular apps and mobile devices you’d expect. Byton says a production version will soon finds its way to the company’s factory in China, with the first batch selling to the Chinese market around 2019. European and the U.S. consumers will get it in 2020. Maybe.

Read our full review on the Byton Concept Vehicle.

5. Honda’s Latest 3E Robotics Concepts

Anyone familiar with lovable Asimo will know Honda is pretty invested in the world of robotics. Now, the H-badge is headed to CES with a whole new range of experimental technologies. Dubbed “Empower, Experience, Empathy” (hence the “3E” name), they include a variety of new ways to get around, such as the 3E-B18, “a chair-type mobility concept designed for casual use in indoor or outdoor spaces,” and the 3E-D18, “an autonomous off-road concept vehicle with AI designed to support people in a broad range of work activities.” There’s even a companion robot designed to show compassion with a variety of facial expressions.

Read our full story here.

The Where, When, And What

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As in years past, CES 2018 will once again be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, located at 3150 Paradise Road. You can find a map of the venue and tips for transportation to the event here.

Things get rolling Sunday, January 7th, with the doors closing later in the afternoon on Friday, January 12th.

Last year, nearly 185,000 people attended, with 4,000 companies exhibiting and 1,200 speakers. Unfortunately, CES is not open to the general public.


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Jonathan Lopez
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