Tuesday, January 14, 2014

CES Shows Us the Automotive Future

For the past ten years, I take time off at CES to trek to the North Hall to see the automotive display. It's a myriad of tech, from audio to navigation, radar detectors to rear-view cameras.

But the real star of the show is the tech that will makes its way into new cars, and Audi and Toyota gave us a glimpse into this future.

Audi bought the new Quattro concept out to play- For those new to the icon, the Quattro was the original 4WD sports car, and dominated the track and the dirt decades ago. 

Audi was first to start the LED-intensive headlight craze, and has since been the trendsetter for design in lighting. If you see illumination technology in an Audi, it will likely make its way into every bargain basement Kia years from now. The Quattro concept they are showing uses new laser headlights for high beams. According to Audi, the new headlights have twice the distance and are three times brighter.

For conventional sheetmetal, nothing outsells Toyota. That's why when you see overall design cues from the Camry and Corolla, you can expect the world to start embracing it. They have the marketing and distribution prowess to influence all the continents, and at CES this year, Toyota showed a few interesting concepts including a fuel-cell vehicle (FCV) with design elements of the new Corolla.Additionally,front lighting was behind honeycomb-like diffusers. Toyota also showed off an "i-road" concept of smaller personal transport, which we can expect to start to see in urban environments in the future.

...and there was also a Dalek.

The Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) is important for its alternative fuel source, but also shows us the design cues for the future of cars the world over.
Toyota iRoad shows us the future of urban transport

Massive Audio has a marketing win with their Dalek

Coming soon to a Kia Sorrento near you: Audi's laser headlamps on the new Quattro concept show illuminate the future of lighting technology, as Audi continually blazes the trail for headlamp tech that gets copied from all automakers