Top 5 Tech Innovations Seen at the 2018 Paris Motor Show
The tech gets better every yearby Andy Nedel, on
There is plenty of new tech on display at the 2018 Paris motor show, as it is one more means for manufacturers to try to outdo one another. These motor shows are slowly turning into tech expos simply because of how many cool new gadgets are integrated into new cars - concepts go even more crazy, previewing the tech that will be available on the market in the near and not so near future.
This year’s edition of the venue was packed with electric and electrified vehicles, cool concepts, and plenty of cool tech demonstrations. Narrowing it down to the most impressive pieces of tech from Paris, we made this list of our top five picks:
Peugeot e-Legend’s 49-inch screen
The Peugeot e-Legend undeniably stole the show on home ground, but that was mostly thanks to its excellent exterior design which blends old 504 coupes with cutting-edge cues, but it is frankly no less interesting inside.
Its interior is dominated by a gigantic curved 49-inch screen located in what for lack of a better comparison can be called the passenger footwell.
Its functions are not mentioned by the manufacturer, but it is probably designed to show the usual infotainment data, allow the driver to change various car parameters and even show movies - the e-Legend is designed to be autonomous, and its front seats actually recline to offer a more relaxed travel experience; this is when the big screen will come in handy purely for entertainment purposes.
If Peugeot also envisioned it hooked up to a crystal clear premium sound system, then I’m completely sold on the idea of being driven around in a super stylish self-driving movie theater.
Read our full review on the 2018 Peugeot e-Legend Concept.
Infiniti Q60 Project Black S working prototype
Infiniti pulled the wraps off a fully working Q60 Project Black S prototype which uses the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine from the Q60 Red Sport 400 and mates it to an electric motor mounted on the rear axle.
The gasoline engine makes 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque (475 Nm), and with the extra electric boost, the figure is pushed to 563 horsepower.
It also uses electric motors to force air into the turbochargers and spool them up, and while Infiniti hasn’t released any official performance data, it should be capable of a zero to sixty time of under four seconds and a top speed nudging 200 mph / 322 km/h.
What’s especially cool about this project is that it is essentially an F1-style KERS hybrid system adapted for road use. It provides more power than theoretical competitors, like the BMW M4 and Mercedes-AMG C63, but at the same time should prove more efficient and useful if it can run in fully-electric mode.
Read our full review on the 2018 Infiniti Project Black S Concept.
Mercedes Linguatronic Natural Voice Control
Mercedes has taken voice commands in cars further with what it calls Linguatronic, or Natural Voice Control, a system which is available on the new A-Class and which the manufacturer showed off at the Paris motor show this year.
It is part of the manufacturer’s new MBUX infotainment’s extended functions, and you essentially tell it things and it responds - it can apparently even “learn” and adapt over time, and it’s even good at understanding accents too.
You simply tell it things, and it responds accordingly - Mercedes exemplifies with saying “I’m cold” instead of asking for a specific temperature to be set. It achieves this by not only using onboard software, but it also uses the cloud to expand its capabilities. Some of the commands it understands and responds to have to do with inputting a destination, making phone calls, writing or reading messages, as well as climate control and lighting.
And just like the smart assistant on your phone, you can ask it questions regarding, for instance, what the weather will be like in a specific location in the future and it will do an internet search and relay the information back to you. Mercedes promises this system is the best of its kind, and you don’t necessarily have to press a button to get its attention - you can just say “Hey, Mercedes!” and then say your command.
Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
BMW 3-Series automatic reversing
BMW’s latest 3-Series has plenty of new gadgets that are worth mentioning, but one of the coolest is its ability to record steering input at speeds under 22 mph (35 km/h), then, when you want to reverse out of certain space, it will navigate itself out of a tight situation, albeit at speeds no faster than 5.5 mph (9 km/h).
It will come in really useful if you’ve driven up a narrow alleyway at the end of which there is nowhere to turn your car around.
In just such a situation, you’d just sit back and look around (using the car’s 360-degree around view system) and let it do all the hard work.
It may still rely on parking sensors to make sure it doesn’t hit anything, and to detect if any new obstacles have appeared since originally going up said alleyway. BMW has really thought the system through, and while it won’t be useful every day, for those situations when it does come in handy, it will be really handy.
Read our full review on the 2019 BMW 3 Series.
Renault EZ Ultimo chauffeurless limo
The idea of having a decadent looking chauffeurless limousine to take you where you need to go in complete comfort, style and silence is pretty well summed up in Renault’s new Ez-Ultimo self-driving concept that bowed in Paris.
It looks very daring and eccentric, and also from 20 years in the future.
What’s especially interesting about it is that while it may be a fairly large vehicle (as big as a Mercedes S-Class), it only has seating for one very pampered passenger who gets to sit in a moving, pivoting central armchair. It does have a facing bench in front of it, but that’s really just for having meetings in the vehicle.
It shows what the future of luxury transport might look like once the steering wheel and driver are made obsolete, with a hint of french quirkiness and decadence. It’s a gorgeous work of art on wheels that blends its luxury with tech beautifully - I hope luxury transportation in the near future will look as classy as this.
Check more news on the Renault EZ Ultimo.