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The Near & Distant Future of Driving From CES 2018

The Near & Distant Future of Driving From CES 2018

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is infamous for exhibiting the very latest trends in technology and innovation. And as our vehicles become more like devices and less like machines, they’re taking an ever more dominant role in the show.

Some of the models on display you wouldn’t even recognise as cars — the Mercedes-Benz Smart EQ Concept with its lack of a steering wheel and pedals comes to mind. But whereas this particular vision won't be realised until 2030, there were many other cars/devices that debuted which will be hitting our streets much sooner.

Here we’re going to look at a few of the most exciting prospects of CES 2018 that we believe are set to define the year ahead, while also taking a peek at what may be to come in the more distant future.

The Byton smart device

The Chinese-based start-up, Byton, unveiled an impressive concept car — an all-electric SUV — at CES 2018, which it plans to start selling later next year.

What makes the Byton first stand out is the claim that it is not just a car, but the first real smart device on wheels. Drivers can interact and communicate with a Byton much like they do their tablets or computers, using voice control and gestures to find out things like charging status and GPS information.

If you prefer the old-fashioned screen, though, there's a huge 49-inch display plonked on the front dashboard. And, in keeping with the high tech approach, rearview cameras instead of wing mirrors and a facial recognition camera for user authentication.

With a £45,000 price tag when it launches in the US, Byton’s first car will be a competitive addition to the electric vehicle market — if it manages to deliver on its promises.

The 400-mile Fisker EMotion

From a newbie to somewhat dab hand, The Fisker EMotion is Henrik Fisher’s second attempt to break into the market of high-end luxury vehicles.

Back in 2012, Fisker’s Karma plug-in sedan fell flat on its face to an unamused audience. But his new car holds a lot more promise, primarily due to its all-electric drivetrain, claimed 400-mile range (80 miles more than a Tesla Model S), ultra-fast charging, self-driving abilities, and novel but eye-catching door design.

The price tag is $130,000 and the release date of sometime in 2019, but you can order yours today. A word of warning though: they’re still working on functioning doors for the production models.

Brain-to-vehicle technology

With all the hype around autonomous vehicles and driving being handed over to our technology, Nissan thought it about time to remind people what driving is really about by shining light on its current effort to keep drivers at the heart of the experience.

Senior innovation researcher at Nissan, Lucian Gheorghe, is working on a brain-reading cap that measures the motor activity-related cortical potential signals of drivers, or in other words, the indicators your brain gives out when it wants your body to move.

Gheorghe expects the brain-vehicle technology could be used to make rides in autonomous vehicles more personalised and tuned to the user. For instance, by enabling the car to learn how the user wants it to move and adjusting accordingly. Although the cap only exists as a concept right now, it’s encouraging to see automakers realising the importance of keeping the driving experience exciting.

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