It’s going beyond Autonomous cars. One of world’s leading auto makers Toyota announced in Vegas that it is working on self-driving mini buses that will bring your favourite store to you. The project is still at a concept stage but many big brands like Uber, Pizza Hut and Amazon are already helping with the planning. Another Japanese auto maker Mazda will also participate in development. The “e-Palette” vehicle platform features a boxy minibus which is electric-powered. The bus aims to solve various purposes like handle deliveries, bring retail services to consumers and for ridesharing. The company at the show displayed how the bus delivers stuff or enable consumers to try on apparel or shoes. The company said it hopes to showcase the technology at the 2020 Olympics in Japan.
Korean car maker has announced that it will enter the Indian car market soon. And that has got a lot of Indian consumers interested on what Hyundai’s sister concern has to offer. The Niro EV Concept is a fully-electric compact SUV. Its aerodynamically-efficient body allows air to slip over, around and beneath the vehicle with ease. The traditional grille—no longer required for engine cooling—is replaced by a smooth interactive display panel, combined with ultra-slim lamp technology in the overall front. Energy is provided by a high-capacity 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, paired with a powerful 150 kW electric motor. The Niro EV Concept suggests a driving range of 383 kilometers with zero tailpipe emissions. The concept’s new Active Pedestrian Warning System (APWS) with the help of speakers warns a pedestrian of the car’s presence.
Byton truly smart car
Tesla better watch out. Former executives from BMW and Apple have come together to create an electric smart car that could give the Teslas of the world a run for their money. The name Byton means bytes on wheels and the company is referring to this one as the first real smart car. The company is made up of former Apple and BMW employees. The traditional dash on the car is replaced with a humongous 49-inch wide screen that can be controlled by voice, gesture and touch. And that’s not all even the steering wheel gets another touchscreen right in the centre. The company says the electric car is self-driving but warns that you still need to be alert behind the wheel. Another innovative feature is that as you sit inside the car, its internal cameras recognise you and customise things like your music and seat to your preference. The company is aiming to put the car on sale in 2019.
Japanese giant Nissan unveiled that it will enable vehicles to interpret signals from the driver’s brain, redefining how people interact with their cars. The company’s Brain-to-Vehicle, or B2V, technology promises to speed up reaction times for drivers and will lead to cars that keep adapting to make driving more enjoyable. Nissan demonstrated capabilities of this technology in Las Vegas. This breakthrough from Nissan is the result of research into using brain decoding technology to predict a driver’s actions and detect discomfort. The driver wears a device that measures brain wave activity, which is then analysed by autonomous systems. By anticipating intended movement, the systems can take actions—such as turning the steering wheel or slowing the car—0.2 to 0.5 seconds faster than the driver, while remaining largely imperceptible. The company used a driving simulator to demonstrate some elements of the technology at CES.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars