The latest technologies and cars unveiled at CES 2024
In the dynamic universe of technology and innovation, the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas is an eminence, a global stage where the Nova Rent a Car Iasi Airport office presents you with a captivating show of the latest discoveries and innovations in the field of consumer electronics. In 2024, CES is not just an exhibition of TVs and mobile phones, it has long gone beyond its original boundaries and evolved into an expanded platform where automotive technologies occupy an increasingly important place. This year, CES 2024 proved to be more than that, it is an epicenter of the societal transformations brought about by the rise of electrification.
Even in the hall dedicated to the automotive industry, CES can astound visitors with both its size and what it presents. It's not just an assault on their senses, but something that makes them question their own perception of reality. Complex and difficult-to-produce technologies such as radars, sensors, cameras and software are presented here in such a way that they sound interesting. The generative artificial intelligence (AI) built into the cars of the future sounds downright scary.
Cars are quickly becoming an extension of our digital lives, and CES 2024 showed just how much the two will continue to intertwine this year and into the future. Whether it's accessing our calendar on the go or controlling smart devices in our home with our voice, cars are increasingly becoming giant smartphones. If we add to this equation an orientation towards alternative fuel sources, be it electricity or hydrogen, we will understand why the Consumer Electronics Show is becoming a favorite place for car manufacturers to reveal their latest innovations.
Only a few new vehicle concepts were unveiled this year, notably a reinterpretation of the EV rules by Honda and Kia's entry into the commercial vehicle segment. However, AI assistants and advanced infotainment offerings were undoubtedly the central theme of the 2024 show. CES manages to demonstrate that the automotive world is not just about engines and bodies, but is rapidly evolving towards a complex interconnectedness, where cars are becoming essential nodes in the digital web of modern life.
At CES 2024, Honda decided to reset the electrification clock, returning to "Honda's starting point as an automaker." Basically, the Japanese tear up their own rulebook and start over. The result is two stunning concepts, the 0 Series Saloon and Space-Hub, both of which provide a glimpse into Honda's overall design direction and electric vehicle philosophy. Global CEO Toshihiro Mibe says his company wants to move away from today's "coarse and heavy" electric cars and instead focus on a new philosophy described as "thin, light and smart."
However, beneath this diplomatic language, Honda is turning to the next generation of thinner and lighter batteries to power its sleek, low and aerodynamic Saloon, which is very close to a production version that promises to inherit the spirit of "pleasure to lead" of the brand. Details on range and performance are not yet known, as these are probably still in the realm of hypotheticals, but both the Saloon and the Space-Hub, which is a saloon-style passenger transport variant, will benefit from advanced systems of driver assistance, high autonomous driving capabilities and, with a bit of luck, state-of-the-art infotainment systems thanks to Honda's close partnership with multimedia and entertainment giant Sony.
Honda has completely rethought its approach to EV development with this new pair of concepts. Efficiency, engagement and practicality are the priorities for its next generation of global models, scheduled to arrive in Europe in 2026. To achieve this, each 0 Series electric vehicle will be built on an all-new and "slim" platform, allowing them to sit closer to the road and therefore provide better aerodynamic performance than existing architectures.
The saloon, promised to be 90% production ready, will be the first to hit the market. However, it will ditch some of its more extravagant features, such as the gullwing doors. The Space-Hub MPV has yet to be approved for production, but will serve as inspiration for a similarly designed smaller SUV.
The next concept that the Nova Rent a Car Airport Iasi company presents to you comes as a result of the collaboration between Sony and Honda and is called Afeela Saloon. It was shown in an updated version at CES, revealing minor styling tweaks. The side-view cameras have been replaced with conventional mirrors, and the front and rear ends have been redesigned to give a more angular appearance. Technical specifications have also been confirmed, with the electric vehicle having a 241bhp motor on each axle and a 91kWh battery capable of charging at rates of up to 150kW.
The production car will also benefit from numerous high-profile technology partnerships. Gran Turismo video game developer Polyphony Digital will bring its simulation expertise to help develop the car, while Microsoft's OpenAI service will underpin the on-board digital assistant.
Kia made an interesting story by announcing its plans to enter the commercial vehicle sector in 2025 with the PV5, the first in a series of new vehicles called PBVs (Platform Beyond Vehicle) that it will launch over the next decade. The PV5, based on an adapted version of the E-GMP architecture, will be launched as a rival to the Ford Transit Custom and Volkswagen Transporter in the world of electric vans. The exhibition featured MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle), high-roof and pick-up variants of the PV5. A larger PV7 is also in the plans, but the other two cargo delivery vehicles shown at CES, the PV1 and PV3, are not yet planned for production.
Californian electric vehicle company Mullen, founded in 2014 by David Michery, presented at CES its new top model, the Five RS, based on the Five model shown last year. Mullen revealed that this is a competitor to the Tesla Model X Plaid, claiming more than 1000 horsepower and a top speed of 320 km/h. The Five RS is said to feature a dual-motor drivetrain and all-wheel drive, 800V electricity that allows a 0-80% charge in just 21 minutes, a range of 500 kilometers, and six- and four-piston Brembo brakes . Being a modern electric vehicle, it also features an infotainment system with two huge screens, complemented by a built-in voice assistant.
Hyundai Motor, through its Supernal division, has unveiled the S-A2, a vision for a world where you actually Uber yourself into the air. The electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle is equipped with batteries and motors from Hyundai electric cars, but also with the design signed by Luc Donckerwolke. With eight tilting rotors, it can fly at speeds of up to 200 km/h, and the high-density batteries provide trips between 40 and 65 kilometers. The S-A2 operates at an altitude of 450 meters, well below commercial aircraft, and offers short trips between "vertiports" in cities using an Uber ride-hailing platform. The project, led by former NASA employee Jaiwon Shin, emphasizes quietness, saying the S-A2 emits just 65 decibels during takeoff and about 45 decibels during cruise, less than a dishwasher. Supernal says the S-A2 is ready to support the next generation of battery technology and will begin testing in 2025.
Xpeng AeroHT, the aviation division of Chinese electric vehicle company Xpeng, has confirmed that it will begin production of the Land Aircraft Carrier this year. It's basically two vehicles in one: a six-wheel electric van that houses an electric helicopter. Xpeng is aiming for an annual production of about 10,000 Land Aircraft Carriers in China alone, but has yet to initiate discussions with Western authorities for homologation of the flying module. "I like to fly, I have a helicopter, but I can't take it anywhere I want. If I have this vehicle, I can drive wherever I want, park the truck and fly," XPeng AeroHT co-founder and vice president Tan Wang said at this year's CES. "The car is aimed at customers who want off-road adventures, but the on-road performance is much better because it has three engines, one on each axle," he added.
In addition, Wang states that the flight module is much simpler to operate than a regular helicopter because it combines human piloting skills with advanced levels of autonomy. Because of this, Wang believes that it will take much less than the usual 40 flight hours to obtain a helicopter pilot's license and be able to legally operate this eVTOL vehicle.
Wang said the company is accepting pre-orders as early as the end of this year and hopes to have products in the air by the end of 2025. Both the six-wheeler and the aircraft can be purchased for $200,000 or 182,000 euros , which from the point of view of the agency Nova Rent a Car Airport Iasi seems to be an advantageous deal. However, Wang also stressed that his company is "still in the process" of obtaining certification from the Aviation Authority of China, but hopes that this will happen soon.
BMW presented demonstrations of an augmented reality experience based on Xreal Air 2 on board a BMW iX at CES 2024 and the Nova Rent a Car Iasi Airport office was surprised and delighted by what it saw. More than just a fun artifice (BMW rained down AR casino betting chips during the Las Vegas unveiling), this experience could be a very useful extension of the navigation and infotainment system in general.
With the Xreal Air 2 glasses, BMW can project driver information onto the real world outside the windshield, with 3D green arrows drawing attention to upcoming turns and large red blocks warning when the driver is getting dangerously close to static objects. Currently, the system runs through a smartphone connected to the car, but the developers behind the technology want to make the whole experience wireless, opening it up to other brands of augmented reality glasses to make the experience as seamless as possible for potential customers. But the pièce de résistance? Open the front visor and the system becomes an impressively clear private cinema. Perfect for while away the hours charging your modern electric vehicle on an extremely slow public charging network.
CES 2024 brought to the forefront a fascinating panorama of the future of mobility and technological innovation, revealing revolutionary concepts that transcend conventional boundaries. From Honda and its radical shift in EV philosophy through the 0 Series, to the Xpeng AeroHT and its ambitious air-to-ground craft, technology and mobility enthusiasts have been treated to an engaging look at the rapidly evolving automotive industry.
Honda offered two impressive concepts, the Saloon and the Space-hub, redefining its own vision of electric cars under the motto "thin, light and smart". A revolutionary approach to EV technology, focused on efficiency, engagement and practicality, marks a significant shift in the direction of the automotive industry. Kia surprised by announcing its entry into the commercial vehicle sector with the PBV series, and Mullen unveiled the Five RS, a competitor to the Tesla Model X Plaid, promising exceptional performance and advanced technology. These presentations highlight the acceleration of transformations in the electric vehicle industry and the diversification of the offer for consumers.
In the realm of aeronautical technology, Xpeng AeroHT has proposed an innovative vision with the Land Aircraft Carrier, a spectacular fusion between an electric van and a helicopter. This initiative shows that the boundaries between land and air vehicles are continuously blurring, opening the way to new possibilities for exploration and personal transportation. Finally, BMW has brought augmented reality inside its cars, offering a significant advance in the driving and navigation experience. With the Xreal Air 2 glasses, BMW has created an innovative system that projects crucial driver information directly onto the windshield, opening up new opportunities for safety and interaction while driving.
CES 2024 demonstrated that the frontiers of technology and mobility are constantly expanding, and the Nova Rent a Car Iasi office will offer an exciting look at how the future of vehicles will be shaped by bold innovations and remarkable technological developments. With each presentation, we've witnessed a significant shift in the way we relate to cars and our journeys, illustrating that the future is indeed unfolding before our eyes.
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