New vehicle technology will be on display at CES 2018 this week

By Allen Cone

Jan. 8 (UPI) -- The biggest electronics show in the world will include some really large products this year -- cars.

CES, formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show, begins Tuesday and lasts through Friday in Las Vegas.


Last year's show drew about 185,000 attendees and 4,000 exhibitors. Only industry professionals and news media can attend the event, which is the largest convention yearly in Las Vegas.

"CES is the world's gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years -- the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace," CES said on its website.

Companies at the event usually show off new televisions, smart devices, smartphones, virtual assistants, home appliances and other gadgets.

The auto industry will show off its latest trucks, SUVs, minivans, and luxury sedans at next month's auto show in Detroit. But the future -- electric, plug-in hybrids and self-driving cars -- will be on display in Las Vegas this week.

About a dozen self-driving vehicles from automakers like Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan will be at this year's show.


Lyft said it will offer free autonomous robo-taxi rides -- with a safety driver and an engineer ready to take over if something goes wrong.

France's Navya will show a driverless, eight-passenger shuttle bus on a 0.6-mile loop, and a minivan called the "Autonom Cab" to pick riders from a convention center lot.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett will deliver a keynote address on Tuesday, and his company will show off its autonomous pizza-delivery car.

Byton, an electric vehicle startup from China, will also be at the show. It has an SUV with a lot of touchscreens and technology, including the ability to monitor passenger vital signs.

South Korea's Kia Motors will show off a new electric car with "never-seen-before human-machine interface" and an advanced new "motion graphic lighting system."

Intel and Nvidia will display the brains of these cars -- computer processors -- and other high-tech items include drones and artificial intelligence products. There's even a refrigerator that automatically opens its doors when you approach it.

The show will also feature a range of Internet-connected home devices that can be controlled from smartphones.

"The Internet of Things is so vast and large that no one was really sure how it would work and whether it would all work together," Avi Greengart, research director for consumer platforms and devices at research firm GlobalData, said. "The answer that we're seeing is that people buy these [products] piecemeal and control them with their voice. That really wasn't apparent two or three years ago."


Most tech companies, including Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google, unveil products at their own events. But Google is planning a bigger presence at CES this year. The monorail circling the Las Vegas Convention Center bears huge letters saying "Hey Google!"

Below the rail system will be a Google Assistant booth in the convention-center parking lot.

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