This year’s Consumer Electronic Show (CES) marked over 50 years of showcasing innovative technology to the world. There were more than 3,900 exhibiting companies, over 300 conference sessions, and 170k+ attendees from 150 countries. Needless to say, it is a very overwhelming experience!
The PRECO team was fortunate enough to once again attend and check out the new safety technology being introduced to the consumer automotive industry. Arriving throughout the week, those of us that were lucky enough - or unfortunate enough - to be traveling Tuesday, were delayed due to a winter monsoon storm rolling through the Las Vegas area. Our Las Vegas Lyft driver in was quick to point out that the 2 inches of rain received that day was enough to shut down much of the city. Traffic was backed up more than usual, due in part to the influx of people, but also due to the wet road conditions.
Thankfully, Wednesday was a warm, sunny day. A nice change for those of us coming from the cold, dreary weather in the north. While wandering through the outdoor booths during the power outage in Central Hall, we discovered the Bendix Blindspotter, a privated-labeled PRECO side object detection solution, installed on on-highway trucks at both the Paccar and Luminar Technology booths. In both applications, they are creating a complete safety solution by integrating several technologies including radar, vision, and LiDAR.
Many of the automotive manufacturers at CES 2018 showcased new safety features and steps toward a more autonomous consumer car. Rideshare company, Lyft, was giving rides in their self-driving car through the show. Unfortunately, we were only able to grab a picture of one of the cars as the queue for rides was full very early in the day.
Autonomous vehicles, consumer or heavy-duty, relies on radar systems to provide active blind spot monitoring. Car manufacturer Hyundai announced an industry 1st blind spot view monitor, which shows the rear and side views when a driver goes to change lanes, allowing the driver to remain focused on the road ahead of them. Fisker also announced the new electric eMotion, a four door sedan that has 5 integrated LIDAR sensors to provide not only a safer ride, but also to take the car up to Level 4 autonomy.
In addition, car manufacturer Toyota introduced a concept MaaS (Mobility as a Service) vehicle. The e-Palette Concept Vehicle is a dual purpose, flexible electric vehicle that will have multiple uses. Toyota envisions using these vehicles for not only passengers, but also as a way to deliver goods purchased online, groceries, and even pizza.
While the automotive industry continues to improve the safety of their vehicles to meet the demand of consumers, it is important that heavy duty industries continue to adopt and implement similar safety features. Features such as blind spot monitoring systems, forward looking radar, and assisted braking are just some of the safety technologies that should become standards on all heavy-duty equipment.