Welcome 2019 with loads of tech debuts and showcases!

2019 is rolling around with the calendar’s first major auto show. That used to be the North American International Auto Show, which traditionally takes place in the middle of January. In recent years, though, the Consumer Electronics Show has taken the mantle from Detroit as the first show where automakers showcase their latest products in front of a crowd still recovering from a holiday-induced hangover. But, CES waits for no one, and just as we’re getting back to the grind after our extended vacations, we’re thrust into a five-day hypnosis of tech news, debuts, and announcements, some of which come from some of the biggest automakers in the world. This year’s CES is no different. We already know at least one model that’s making its debut at the event. But just as car brands have taken a bigger cut of that show’s pie share, CES is still about the latest in technology. In a lot of ways, what we’ll see at CES will define the tech world for the next 12 months, and, in some cases, a lot longer than that.

Background

CLA Teaser

See the CLA with new eyes. The new CLA celebrates its world premiere at the CES in Las Vegas on 8th January, 2019

Posted by Mercedes-Benz on Friday, December 28, 2018

The Consumer Electronics Show is fast becoming one of the most exciting events in the calendar year. Over the past years, automakers from all over the world have become increasingly active at the show, largely because the auto world and the tech world have intersected in ways that haven’t happened before. This year, we already know one automaker that’s attending the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show with the intention of actually debuting a vehicle. World debuts typically happen at the North American International Auto Show that happens a few weeks later. Not anymore, though. The 2019 Consumer Electronics Show is where it’s at, and we begin with the aforementioned world debut of the Mercedes CLA Coupe.

The Mercedes CLA Coupe Takes Center Stage

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Spyshots Exterior
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This isn’t a drill, nor is it speculation. Mercedes-Benz is going to the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, and it’s bringing the all-new CLA Coupe with it.

Granted, details about the coupe-crossover have yet to be announced, but the German automaker has made it clear that the CLA Coupe’s modified MBUX infotainment system will play a huge role in the crossover’s world debut.

According to Merc, the evolved MBUX system comes with new functions that have already been added only 12 months after the system — minus any car — made its own worldwide debut at the same event. Mercedes also added that the new model will come with augmented reality for navigation, the ability to understand indirect voice commands, and an ENERGIZING COACH system that features individual fitness recommendations. These are the kinds of tech gadgetry that the Mercedes CLA Coupe will have at its disposal when it makes its world debut at CES later this week. It seems fitting, then, that Mercedes-Benz identified the world’s biggest technology-focused show as the ideal place to introduce a model that’s dripping in all-new technology.

The Arrival of 5G

Since we’re putting more of a focus on big tech stories this year, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention what is considered the biggest tech story of the year: 5G connectivity. I don’t want to overstate the obvious, but the arrival of 5G could be a game-changer in terms of access to faster technology that will keep us more connected than ever before. It’s hard to say if that’s a good thing or a bad thing at this point, but the big service providers — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon — have all committed to roll out 5G connectivity in 2019.

At the very least, we can also expect a lot of news to come out from component makers, specifically Intel and Qualcomm. It’s also important to pay close attention on how 5G connectivity will affect the auto industry’s push towards electrification, autonomous driving technology, and all the other tech aspects a lot of these automakers are currently developing. The future is arriving at CES. Let’s see if we can handle it better than we did when 4G and LTE made their debut.

Say It With Me: Augmented Reality!

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Spyshots Exterior
- image 788049

“Augmented reality” is a phrase we’re probably going to hear a lot of this year. That’s especially true in the auto world where automakers routinely try to tackle new technological frontiers. The last few years saw advancements in infotainment systems, lights technology, electrification, and autonomous driving technology.

This year, augmented reality appears to be gaining steam as the buzz tech of the year.

We’ve already seen a handful of automakers unveil concept versions of the tech in the last year. For this year, though, expect more companies to dive into the technology with the hope of laying the foundation for the future of the tech and its applications in the industry. Don’t look now, but heads-up displays in cars and SUVs could look very different in the near future.

There’s a Smart-Everything These Days

The 2020 Mercedes CLA Coupe Is Headlining What Should Be An Exciting 2019 Consumer Electronics Show
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Remember when smart homes became the talk of CES last year? 5G is expected to take that mantle this year, but smart home technology isn’t going to give up that title without a fight. 2018 proved that turning gadgets into "smart" versions of themselves has a big place in the future of our society. That momentum should carry over to 2019 as more and more of our household items become "smart." Did you think that we ended with smart door locks, cameras, microwaves, or even wall clocks? Nope. This year’s CES should see a lot more from this tech space. Amazon and Google should lead the way after both companies brought Echo and Home to market last year, respectively. The stage is set for these two tech giants to turn this year’s CES into their own personal showcases. Who’s willing to bet that both companies will have something "smart" on their tables?

Further reading

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Spyshots Exterior
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 Spyshots
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45.

2014 Mercedes CLA 45 AMG High Resolution Exterior
- image 499307

Read our full review on the current 2014 Mercedes-AMG CLA45.

2014 - 2015 Mercedes CLA-Class High Resolution Exterior
- image 489082

Read our full review on the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA.

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