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Archive for the ‘CES’ Category

PostHeaderIcon New Toyota And Lexus Vehicles To Get Amazon Alexa; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Still No Go

These days, having the right infotainment and onboard technology is critical to new car sales, as evidenced by the huge number of automakers present at the Consumer Electronics Show this year. The latest comes from Toyota and Lexus, which just announced it would equip “select” models with advanced feature control courtesy of Amazon Alexa.

For those of you who may be unaware, Amazon Alexa is the online retain giant’s personal digital assistant. First used in the Amazon Echo, Alexa is able to provide a host of services via voice command, including music playback, the creation of to-do lists, alarm setting, real-time traffic status, and news. If properly integrated with devices and systems at home, Alexa can also perform other tasks, such as adjusting the temperature settings for the heater and A/C.

In total, Amazon Alexa can connect to “thousands” of things for added digital convenience. As for in-car features, Alexa can handle all the basics, such as remote door lock and unlock, as well as remote engine start and basic smartphone operation.

Starting this year, Amazon Alexa will be included with new Toyota vehicles equipped with the Entune 3.0 App Suite, as well as new Lexus vehicles equipped with the Enform App Suite 2.0. Toyota says the lineup of Alexa-equipped models will expand in 2019.

Meanwhile, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are still not included in Toyota’s lineup, which is a bit of a head-scratcher considering the platforms are two of the most popular smartphone support systems for modern passenger cars today. It’s great that Toyota and Lexus are stepping up their connectivity game, but with competitors flocking to Android and Apple, we can’t help but wonder how far Alexa will actually carry the brand in terms of winning over consumers.

References


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PostHeaderIcon Honda Brings Together Consortium of Tech Startups To Focus on Future Mobility

In case it isn’t obvious by now, the Consumer Electronics Show attracted just about every automaker that has a vested interest in future mobility. Honda was in attendance at the event, where it announced plans through Honda Xcelerator to bring together a consortium of tech startups with the goal of developing new technologies that are geared towards future mobility. Included in this list of startups are BRAIQ, DeepMap, DynaOptics, EXO Technologies, Tactual Labs, and WayRay.


Honda Brings Together Consortium of Tech Startups To Focus on Future Mobility
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“Honda’s goal in partnering with BRAIQ is to one day personalise its own Adaptive Cruise Control system to improve trust in autonomous driving technology”

Each of the six startups brings something different to the table. BRAIQ, for example, is a company that focuses on developing technologies for the autonomous vehicle space, specifically through the collection of biometric information that it can analyze to add what it describes as a “layer of emotional intelligence on top of artificial intelligence.” Honda’s goal in partnering with BRAIQ is to one day personalise its own Adaptive Cruise Control system to improve trust in autonomous driving technology. For its part, DynaOptics’ service revolves around state-of-the-art optic lenses. The Singapore-based startup is known for its free-form optic lenses that work better than traditional lenses in certain specifications. Honda’s tapping into that ability to improve its own light-to-camera sensors.

Honda’s goal of improving its own GPS service is a big reason why it’s bringing startups DeepMaps and EXO Technologies into the fold. DeepMaps is based in
California, and it provides high-definition (HD) maps and real-time localization as a service to autonomous vehicles. As it is, the company is building a cloud-based, scalable platform that can create 3D HD maps for autonomous cars equipped with Level 4 and Level 5 autonomy. Meanwhile, Israel-based EXO Technologies provides its own brand of GPS solutions that focus on improving in-car navigation among autonomous vehicles. These two partnerships fall in line with Honda’s plan to take its GPS service to a level that can be used by autonomous vehicles.


Honda Brings Together Consortium of Tech Startups To Focus on Future Mobility
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“PRISMä technology is capable of wrapping a free-form object in accurate in-air, skeletal, and contact sensing and construct the human hand and body in 3D”

Another startup, Tactual Labs, has been brought into the fold by Honda because of the startup’s PRISMä technology. This tech feature is capable of wrapping a free-form object in accurate in-air, skeletal, and contact sensing and construct the human hand and body in 3D. Honda’s collaboration with the Toronto-based company is tied into its plan to create a new and smarter user interface that can provide drivers increased functionality while inside their cars or aboard their motorcycles.

Then there’s WayRay, a Swiss developer of a holographic augmented reality (AR) navigation system for cars, giving us an idea of Honda Xcelerator’s plans with this partnership. One of WayRay’s calling cards is its Holographic AR, a display device that can turn a car’s windshield into a window of information that’s capable of displaying multicolored virtual objects. The tech is compact in size, but it is capable of creating a fully-featured, non-wearable augmented reality infotainment system that can serve multiple functions, including detection of road obstacles and pedestrians, displaying points of interest, or alerting the driver to hazards. In other words, Honda wants to go Minority Report on all of us.

References


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Read more Honda news.


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Read more CES news.


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PostHeaderIcon Hyundai and Cisco Present Faster, More Secure Car Networking Technology

The growing partnership between the auto industry and Silicon Valley took center stage at the Consumer Electronics Show. One example that can be gleaned from these collaborations is the tie-up between Hyundai and Cisco. Together, the two companies revealed a new technology platform that brings 1 Gbps worth of Ethernet connectivity inside our cars. The technology sounds appealing for kids who will have no shortage of bandwidth to use inside a car, but the more important purpose of the tech is to allow automakers like Hyundai to load web-capable sensors and gadgetry in the name of accelerating the growth towards full-fledged autonomy.


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“These sensors are in charge of a variety of things, including scanning surroundings, recognizing traffic conditions, and watching for debris and pedestrians.”

The relationship between in-car Ethernet access and autonomous driving technology can be broken down into two things: sensors and apps.

Car companies like Hyundai that are pushing forward in developing autonomous driving technology will need sensors in their cars to act as catalysts for the tech functions they’re going to put into the vehicles. These sensors are in charge of a variety of things, including scanning surroundings, recognizing traffic conditions, and watching for debris and pedestrians. The sensors then relay what they see to the myriad of autonomous driving features that a specific car could have in the future. As more of these features become available, the need for cars to carry Ethernet-based software becomes more important.

Apps come into the picture because they can have access to these sensors, at least if there’s a technology available for it. Automakers can create specific apps for specific purposes tied into autonomous driving tech, and accessing these apps from inside a car will require a lot of data and a network that’s big enough to handle that load without breaking down.

“The relationship between in-car Ethernet access and autonomous driving technology can be broken down into two things: sensors and apps.”

This is what Hyundai and Cisco are bringing to the table. The latter’s expertise with computer networks helps validate the proprietary technology, something that Hyundai is expected to use for its production vehicles in the near future.

Ruba Borno, Cisco’s vice president of growth initiatives and chief of staff to the CEO, believes that the company’s partnership with Hyundai will “accelerate innovation” in the auto industry. “By creating a flexible, scalable, and secure platform, we are allowing automotive companies to deliver better cars – faster”, she added.

Hyundai has not given details on which of its models will get first dibs on Cisco’s 1Gbps Ethernet networks, but it did say that the technology will be available in 2019 models of its premium lineup.

References


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Read more Hyundai news.


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PostHeaderIcon Honda’s New Powerpack is Revolutionary in Terms of Simple Mobility

In the continuing quest to develop alternative sources of power, Honda took to the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show to unveil the Mobile Power Pack, a portable, swappable, and rechargeable battery that users can use to power digital devices, home appliances, emergencies, and electric mobility vehicles like motorcycles and scooters. The Mobile Power Pack is essentially an oversized powerbank that carries an output of at least 1kWh, enough juice to serve a myriad of purposes.


“The Mobile Power Pack is small in size, but it could create a large impact in the world, specifically in its potential to become a go-to power source in a number of situations”

The Mobile Power Pack is small in size, but it could create a large impact in the world, specifically in its potential to become a go-to power source in a number of situations. Honda says that two of these packs are powerful enough to get an electric motorcycle running. In most instances, though, one pack is enough to use for traveling, making it very useful for those who travel with a whole cavalcade of laptops and mobile devices.

In addition to the Mobile Power Pack, Honda also introduced the Mobile Power Pack Charge & Supply – Portable Concept charger/discharger. This device acts as a charging station for the Mobile Power Pack, and as a separate power source for connected electrical devices. Its small size and the presence of actual wheels means that it can be rolled around and transported easily. If the Mobile Power Pack Charge & Supply –
Portable Concept isn’t your cup of tea, you can opt for the Expandable Concept of the same product, which can be used on its own as a power source inside a house.

“The idea behind the Exchanger Concept is that if your Power Pack runs out of juice, you can go to a charging station and swap it for a fully charged unit.”

Proving that Honda really thought this technology through, it also unveiled the Mobile Power Pack Exchanger Concept, a different type of charging station that can charge multiple units of the Mobile Power Pack at once, while also supplying replacement packs for customers. The idea behind the Exchanger Concept is that if your Power Pack runs out of juice, you can go to a charging station and swap it for a fully charged unit.

References


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Read more Honda news.


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PostHeaderIcon Meet Honda’s Newest Cute Robots the 3E Empathy, Empower, and Experience

Honda has pulled the covers off of four robot concepts at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. Collective called the 3E Robotics Concepts, the small prototypes are more than just novelty items that Honda cooked up for our collective pleasures; they were created to give us a taste of what the future could look like with these robots by our sides to improve our daily lives in different ways. Three of these concepts are making their world debuts at CES. One of them, 3E-C18, made its debut at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show last October.

Honda 3E Empower




The robot concepts represent three different ideologies that Honda subscribed to in creating them. The first of these ideologies is “Empower,” which focuses on a future where humans and robots can leverage each other’s strengths. It’s no wonder that Honda’s creation in this regard is 3E-D18, an autonomous off-road robot that uses artificial intelligence to help people accomplish a broad range of tasks, including as a helpful ally in agriculture, construction, and search and rescue operations. Functionally, 3E-D18 is based on a Honda ATV chassis so it’s as tough as it gets. It comes with four-wheel drive, has GPS and sensor-based autonomy, and has airless tires that allow it to smoothly run on rough road surfaces.

3E-D18 is joined by 3E-B18 under the Empower category. Unlike the rough and rugged 3E-D18, 3E-B18 looks like a futuristic version of the Segway. It does have more a functional side attached to it, including the ability to act as a stroller, a baggage cart, and as a personal ride. It even has a height-adjustable seating and is small enough to navigate tight spaces.

Honda 3E Experience


Falling under the “Experience” ideology is 3E-C18, the robotic concept that looks like a cooler with a face on it. Don’t be deceived by its looks, though, because 3E-C18 serves a variety of important functions, most notably as a mobile, AI-enabled platform that can help people from all walks of life. The concept also has the ability to learn through its AI platform and absorb what it learns to dictate how it operates autonomously. On the physical side, 3E-C18 also has carrying spaces and a canopy, not to mention a vehicle body base with a driving function in it.

3E Empathy


The last of the four concepts is arguably the most important one. It’s called 3E-A18, and it’s a robot concept that actually carries emotions with it. There’s a reason why it was classified under the “Empathy” ideology. Like the other concepts, 3E-A18 comes with AI application. Unlike the other concepts, 3E-A18 was developed specifically to be a personal companion. It has the ability to provide support for human activities, act as a guide in places like malls and airports, and communicate with people in certain situations. Physically, 3E-A18 is designed with a soft exterior skin to complement its range of facial expressions.

References


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PostHeaderIcon The Fisker eMotion Has a Beautiful Interior

There are three screens up front for the driver

The Fisker eMotion’s debut at the Consumer Electronics Show caught a few people by surprise. The debut itself was expected, but the features in the car were more than what most people thought they’d be. The eMotion’s interior is a good example of that. In a word, it’s beautiful. That doesn’t come as a shock to those who know Henrik Fisker’s work, but in some ways, the legendary auto designer seems to have outdone himself this time.


The Fisker eMotion Has a Beautiful Interior - image 756600
“A majority of the eMotion’s interior is covered in ultra-soft premium leather”

I’ll start with the interior color, which shows itself in heavy doses of Caramel and Midnight Black. These are solid color choices to complement the Sapphire Red exterior. A majority of the eMotion’s interior is covered in ultra-soft premium leather. You can see it by how many wrinkles the leather surfaces already have. Some folks may not like the sight of wrinkled leather, but it’s also a sign that the material is authentic. If leather isn’t your thing, Fisker is also offering a vegan option, a first in the auto industry.

The eMotion comes with four individual, electric adjustable first-class seats. There is an option, though, to remove the two rear seats and replace it with a rear bench-style seat. The cabin also has inductive charging ports and special holders for as many as four smartphones. The leather-covered dashboard makes space for a carbon fiber center console and extra storage space that can house tablets and other accessories. All these design elements seamlessly combine premium materials with modern design touches. Put them all together, and they make for a sublime interior package.


The Fisker eMotion Has a Beautiful Interior - image 756595
“There are three driver-oriented screens, including a center curved screen”

Just as important, the eMotion’s interior isn’t lacking in technology. There are three driver-oriented screens, including a center curved screen. The automaker is also offering a 27-inch curved rear screen in case those sitting at a back would want one of their own. This screen is included in the “Chauffer Edition” of the electric car. Then there’s the four-zone electric adjustable tinted roof. It’s made from Electrochromic Glass that Fisker developed in collaboration with Lipik, a company best known for developing state-of-the-art glasses for the auto industry.

References

Fisker Emotion


2019 Fisker EMotion - image 693723

Read our full review on the 2018 Fisker Emotion.


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Fisker eMotion Debuts with 24-inch Wheels, 400-Mile Range, and Level 4 Autonomous Capability


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PostHeaderIcon Fisker eMotion Debuts with 24-inch Wheels, 400-Mile Range, and Level 4 Autonomous Capability

That Means the eMotion...

The Fisker eMotion has officially spread its wings at the Consumer Electronics Show. Henrik Fisker’s latest pièce de résistance is every bit the car we expected it to be. It’s sharp as a tack, has aero bits for days, and carries what can only be described as one of the funkiest door configurations of any car we’ve seen in recent memory. If you thought the Tesla Model X’s falcon doors were treats for the senses, prepare yourselves for what the eMotion has to offer.


Fisker eMotion Debuts with 24-inch Wheels, 400-Mile Range, and Level 4 Autonomous Capability - image 756603
“The new electric car is provocative to look at, but the doors are the real highlight of the exterior.”

The Fisker eMotion is a tremendous return to form for Henrik Fisker. Aesthetically, it looks like a proper sports car. It measures five meters (16.4 feet) long and 1.48 meters (4.8 feet) high. That makes it slightly longer and taller than the Porsche 911 Turbo, which comes in at 4.5 meters long (14.7 feet) and 1.29 meters (4.25 feet) high.

Carbon fiber and lightweight aluminum were used in building the car’s body panels. The panels themselves make up a significant part of the car’s aerodynamic features. The front spoiler, side rocker panels, and rear diffuser are all prominently seen in the design of the eMotion. The new electric car is provocative to look at, but the doors are the real highlight of the exterior. We’ve seen two-door models use butterfly doors before, but we’ve never seen a four-door model use a similar configuration. Fisker takes it to that level by giving the eMotion two butterfly doors in the front and two falcon doors in the back. Throw in the set of 24-inch low-rolling resistant Pirelli tires, and you’re looking at a car whose design can only come from the mind of Henrik Fisker.


Fisker eMotion Debuts with 24-inch Wheels, 400-Mile Range, and Level 4 Autonomous Capability - image 756608
“On the performance end, the Fisker eMotion is tipped to have a top speed of 161 mph to go with an EV range of “more than” 400 miles”

On the performance end, the Fisker eMotion is tipped to have a top speed of 161 mph to go with an EV range of “more than” 400 miles. No details were given on the car’s EV powertrain, but Fisker did say that the eMotion will feature five Integrated Quanergy LIDARs that has the capability to achieve Level 4 autonomous driving. This system is made up of S3 solid-state LiDar Sensors that are integrated into different sections of the car, including one integrated behind the front wheel and another hidden in the lower rear rocker panel.

References

Fisker Emotion


2019 Fisker EMotion - image 693723

Read our full review on the 2018 Fisker Emotion.


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Read more CES news.

PostHeaderIcon Ford CEO Jim Hackett Wants To “Take Back The Streets”

As urban centers become more and more densely populated, our current transportation grid is failing to keep pace. In a recent post to Medium, Ford Motor Company’s head honcho talks about what the Blue Oval is doing to sort out the next generation of A-to-B solutions, focusing primarily on using technology to make them more people friendly in an effort to “take back the streets.”

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story

What’s The Problem?


Ford CEO Jim Hackett Wants To “Take Back The Streets” - image 756669

Hackett begins his post by talking about all the good things cars have brought us over the last 100 years. “It spawned new industries, thousands of new companies, and drove generations of personal and economic growth,” he writes.

But we all know how the story ends, don’t we? In no time at all, the car took over, eventually creating the highway-infested cities we know today. And although the system to handle all these autos hasn’t changed all that much over the years, the sheer glut of folks on the road these days has created new challenges.
“Thirty years ago, we spent an average of 16 hours in traffic per year. Now we spend 38 hours. The price we paid for the freedom to move was the creation of a world where roads were built for cars.”

“But we all know how the story ends, don't we? In no time at all, the car took over, eventually creating the highway-infested cities we know today.”

Hackett is correct in calling this a growing problem. The modern transportation systems we rely on for food, goods, and personal transport is very quickly finding its limits, and a solution is needed before we end up in terminal gridlock.

Hackett calls it a quality of life issue. I think it’s more than that, and would go so far as to say that between the effects of emissions on the environment and the importance of efficient ground transport to the global economy, finding a workable solution is indispensable to civilization as a whole.

What’s The Solution?


Ford CEO Jim Hackett Wants To “Take Back The Streets” - image 756668

You can read the entire post for yourself at the link below, but briefly, Hackett identifies several possible paths forward. These include new implementation of the sharing economy, artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, and smart city design.

While Hackett has his own ideas on how these technologies would be best implemented, we’ll elaborate and toss in our own ideas as well. For starters, the sharing economy would open up new ownership models, creating opportunities for more people to enjoy the luxury of cars while simultaneously opening up additional space inside the city. After all, if a car is in use rather than sitting parked, that’s extra space, isn’t it?

However, the really big jump in efficiency won’t come until autonomous systems take off in a big way. With the robots taking the wheel, the sharing economy around autos can really properly manifest, offering personal transport (much like calling Lyft or Uber) but at reduced cost. What’s more, self-driving cars will be able to more efficiently use the energy on tap (be it gasoline, electricity, or hydrogen) by applying a constant throttle and running close to the car ahead without fear of rear-ending someone. Autonomous cars really will give us a giant leap forward in efficiency thanks to the algorithms in play.

“The solutions to make it all work include new implementation of the sharing economy, artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, and smart city design.”

Connected systems should help us bridge the gap to full autonomy, providing vital information like
alternate routes through congested areas and plugging into a larger grid for maximum efficiency. Throw in some smart city planning to help accommodate all these systems, and there really is some light at the end of the tunnel.

Ford isn’t the only company thinking about all this, and indeed, one look at the automotive lineup at CES this year will reveal exactly that. Then you have countries like China which are getting ahead of the game with mandates over AI-equipped cars and roadway data networks, plus forward-thinking concepts like the 2020 Project Redspace that anticipate greater levels of autonomy and the pressures of life in a “megacity.”

And while no one loves sitting in traffic, I have a feeling the true impact of mass urban dwelling has yet to manifest. Now is the time to get prepared for that, as the problem isn’t going away any time soon. It’s only gonna get worse.

References


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Read more Ford news.


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PostHeaderIcon You Can Now Ask Google to Start Your Kia Using Your Phone

Kia joined this year’s Consumer Electronics Show to unveil the Niro EV, an almost production-ready version of its first electric crossover, but it’s also using the Las Vegas event to introduce a new feature to its UVO infotainment system. Starting 2018, certain models will have infotainment systems compatible with Google Assistant, which will enable owners to execute a variety of remote commands. Likely to extend across the entire Kia range in the future, integration with Google Assistance is available only for models equipped with the UVO system so far. The list includes the Niro PHEV, Soul EV, Optima PHEV, and the K900 flagship sedan.


“Google Assistant allows drivers to interact with the car via smartphones or Google Home by using simple voice commands”

Google Assistant allows drivers to interact with the car via smartphones or Google Home by using simple voice commands. According to Kia, owners can ask Google Assistant to start or lock their cars, to start and stop battery charging, the climate control system, or the horn and lights. Commands include, “Tell UVO to start my Soul EV,” or “Tell UVO to lock my Niro.”

The Google Assistant can also provide real-time answers, activate streaming music services, smart home devices, and smart car and connected car technology. It will basically provide seamless connectivity directly into Kia vehicles and make vehicle ownership an easier, more modern experience. Google Assistant is available on select Android and Apple iPhone phones, smart speakers like Google Home, and select tablets.

References


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PostHeaderIcon Toyota’s New E-Palette Concept Can Serve as an Open Platform for Developers

As part of its future autonomous mobility service, Toyota has introduced the e-Palette Concept at the Consumer Electronics Show. If you’re a fan of aesthetically pleasing concept vehicles, now’s the time to turn away because the e-Palette is anything but attractive. The concept is actually just a box on four wheels, albeit one that serves a lot of different purposes depending on who’s using it.


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“Toyota sees the concept as a multi-purpose smart mobility vehicle that can be used in different ways, including as a business platform for different sorts of companies”

It may not be the most attractive concept in the world, but don’t sleep on the potential of Toyota’s e-Palette Concept. What it lacks in style, it makes up for in function. Toyota sees the concept as a multi-purpose smart mobility vehicle that can be used in different ways, including as a business platform for different sorts of companies. Whether it’s Uber using it as a ride-sharing service or Amazon using it as a parcel delivery vehicle, the e-Palette Concept is versatile enough to accommodate them. The concept’s potential look to be intriguing enough that companies like Amazon, DiDi, Mazda, Pizza Hut, and Uber have all signed up as partners in the project.

From a physical perspective, the e-Palette Concept has a body that comes in three different lengths, ranging from 13 feet to 23 feet. Its boxy design helps increase usable space in the interior, allowing a business partner to design the cabin in ways it sees fit. In the case of Uber and Didi, that could entail fitting the interior with seats for commuters whereas, in Pizza Hut’s case, it could involve creating a mobile kitchen and delivery service.


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“Partner companies are also free to install their own automated driving systems and vehicle management technologies into the concept”

Partner companies are also free to install their own automated driving systems and vehicle management technologies into the concept. Once these systems are installed, Toyota steps into the picture with its Guardian technology, which acts as a “safety net” that helps ensure that the operation of the vehicle is being done properly. Toyota’s goal is to create a business ecosystem around the e-Palette Concept. Partners can also take advantage of shared data that Toyota is offering through its Big Data Center service.

The E-Palette is a fascinating interpretation of what future mobility could look. It might even have a promising future as a real product if Toyota thinks it’s worth building them. Just don’t expect that day to arrive anytime soon because feasibility tests of the concept don’t begin until 2020 in Japan. Coincidentally, that’s also the same year that Tokyo is hosting the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. Coincidence? I don’t think so.


References


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PostHeaderIcon CES 2018 – Byton Is Promising Technology That Brands Like BMW And Mercedes Can’t Move Past The Concept Stage

Byton, an international extension of the Chinese-based Future Mobility Corporation, just debuted its very first product, pulling the sheets in front of an eager crowd at CES 2018. Framed as a near-production-ready concept dripping with innovative technology, the SUV promises a lot – but can it deliver?

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


“The Byton Concept EV is the company's very first all-electric vehicle, with a sleek new design, luxurious interior, and solid range”

The Byton Concept EV is the company’s very first all-electric vehicle, with a sleek new design, luxurious interior, and solid range. Byton hopes it will successfully “replace horsepower with digital power,” making a splash in the SUV segment for about $45,000. At 191 inches in length, 76 inches in width, and 65 inches in height, it’s significantly smaller than competitors like the Tesla Model X, but it comes with some pretty impressive tech that will definitely steal some sales – if the start-up delivers on its promises, that is.

So then, what’s the tech in question?

For starters, there are facial recognition cameras mounted on the b-pillars for “user authentication” purposes and the specification of customized settings (seat position, etc.). There’s also smart exterior lighting that will help greet the user and relay important information, such as the current charging status.

Once inside, drivers are met with an enormous screen on the dash, measuring 49 inches in length and 10 inches in height. A touch screen was placed in the steering wheel as well. Rear-view cameras are used in lieu of physical side mirrors.


CES 2018 – Byton Is Promising Technology That Brands Like BMW And Mercedes Can't Move Past The Concept Stage - image 756193
“Once inside, drivers are met with an enormous screen on the dash, measuring 49 inches in length and 10 inches in height. Byton says the SUV will come with level 3 autonomous capability at launch, with promises of reaching level 4 capability by 2020.”

It gets better. The on-board AI uses various devices to monitor the driver’s health and provide “meaningful advice,” while a video chat feature helps you connect on the go. There are individual adjustments for the front and aft seats (no static rear bench here), while the front seats will also rotate around to enhance sociability inside the cabin. Amazon provides its Alexa voice control software, and there’s a simplified gesture command system as well. An intuitive navigation system helps you find the best route from A to B, and the high levels of connectivity come courtesy of several flat antennas integrated with the roof.

Finally, Byton says the SUV will come with level 3 autonomous capability at launch, with promises of reaching level 4 capability by 2020.

All impressive stuff, no doubt about it. But the question is this – is Byton biting off more than it can chew? The company is shooting for no less than “the most advanced EV in the market as of 2019,” which is no small feat these days.


CES 2018 – Byton Is Promising Technology That Brands Like BMW And Mercedes Can't Move Past The Concept Stage - image 756185
“All impressive stuff, no doubt about it. But the question is this – is Byton biting off more than it can chew?”

Still, the basics look pretty solid, with the base model providing 250 miles per charge and 272 horsepower from a 71-kWh battery, and the higher trim doing 325 miles per charge and 476 horsepower from a 350-kWh battery. There’s also a quick-charge feature that will juice the pack with 150 miles in 20 minutes, and an 80 percent charge in 30 minutes.

We’re still a little over a year and a half before we’ll know for sure it Byton can pull this off, but if all the above-mentioned features are included when the final production version drops late 2019, it could spell success for the start-up.

References


CES 2018 – Byton Is Promising Technology That Brands Like BMW And Mercedes Can't Move Past The Concept Stage - image 756181

Read our full review on the 2019 Byton EV Concept.


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.

PostHeaderIcon Fisker eMotion Heads To CES 2018 With Solid-State Battery And Fast Charging

When it comes to automotive technology and the Consumer Electronics Show, anything and all things battery related is obviously quite the hot topic. This year is no different, and Fisker is looking to make a splash thanks to its new solid-state battery and fast charging on the soon-to-be-revealed eMotion sedan, as teased in a series of Tweets from the man himself, Mr. Henrik Fisker.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


Fisker eMotion Heads To CES 2018 With Solid-State Battery And Fast Charging - image 755946
“Stylistically, the eMotion is classic Fisker, combining elements of his work at Aston, Tesla, and of course, the Karma into a single package”

For those of you who may be unaware, Henrik Fisker is a Danish-born auto designer with a long, impressive resume. After getting his start at BMW, where he helped to pen the E1 electric concept, the Z07 concept (which later became the Z8), and the X5 SUV, Fisker made the move Aston Martin. There, he helped create such stunning beauties as the V8 Vantage. Later, he helped get the ball rolling on the original Tesla Model S.

In 2007, Fisker launched his own car company, creating the Fisker Karma hybrid sports car under the eponymous Fisker Automotive. While unquestionably good-looking and technologically impressive, the Karma ended up bankrupting the fledgling car company, with a variety of recalls issued concerning the battery’s tendency to spontaneously ignite.

Fast forward to 2016, and Fisker is back in the saddle, offering a new luxury sports hybrid dubbed the eMotion. Stylistically, the eMotion is classic Fisker, combining elements of his work at Aston, Tesla, and of course, the Karma into a single package. There are short overhangs (especially in back), cab-back proportions, high fender flares, large wheels, and wild-looking upward-flared doors.


Fisker eMotion Heads To CES 2018 With Solid-State Battery And Fast Charging - image 755945
“Full details are expected during the eMotion's reveal, but we're expecting huge range potential (upwards of 400 miles when topped off, with the possibility for 500 miles), and charge times equivalent to that of a normal gasoline fill-up.”

While nice to look at, the eMotion secures its spot in the limelight at CES thanks to what’s going on underneath the skin, namely a solid-state battery pack and quick-charge feature. Full details are expected during the four-door’s reveal, but we’re expecting huge range potential (upwards of 400 miles when topped off, with the possibility for 500 miles), and charge times equivalent to that of a normal gasoline fill-up. If true, the new tech would address two of the biggest hurdles to widespread EV adoption.

But there’s more. Rather than using a liquid lithium-ion substance like traditional EV battery packs, Fisker’s new solid-state batteries are made from graphene, an ultra-thin honeycomb lattice that currently only exists in laboratory settings. As such, the batteries would also be lighter than lithium-ion equivalents, have a higher energy density, be less prone to thermal runaway, and incredibly, be cheaper to manufacture as well.

“Here’s to a “Solid” 2018, the year we decide when our solid state Battery technology goes into mass production,” Fisker tweeted out on December 31st.


Fisker eMotion Heads To CES 2018 With Solid-State Battery And Fast Charging - image 755944
“In addition, it looks like the technology may be made more accessible some time in the foreseeable future.”

In addition, it looks like the technology may be made more accessible some time in the foreseeable future. In response to one of Fisker’s recent tweets, another Twitter user asked, “You will impress me when you make a 400 EV range for everyday people. We outnumber those that can afford your luxury model. Your revolution can only be carried out by the masses,” to which Fisker responded with, “That’s next on my agenda!”, suggesting a more affordable eMotion may already be in the works.

In addition to the new battery tech, Fisker will also show off the eMotion’s lidar system, which is presumably used to help it achieve high levels of autonomy.

Look for the full reveal of the Fikser eMotion on January 9th. Stay tuned to TopSpeed for the latest.




References

Fisker Emotion


2017 Fisker EMotion - image 693723

Read our full review on the 2018 Fisker Emotion.


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.

PostHeaderIcon 5 Things To Look For At The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show

The annual Consumer Electronics Show, better known as the popular acronym “CES,” is now upon us, promising us car lovers a futuristic, sci-fi-flavored look at all the tech goodies the major automakers are tinkering with at the moment. With a schedule filled to capacity with geeky delights and nerdy awesomeness, we thought we’d pick out five highlights worth checking out.

Continue reading to learn more about five things to look for at the 2018 CES.

Quick – What Is CES?


5 Things To Look For At The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show - image 755942

First held in 1967, the Consumer Electronics Show is an annual trade show put on by the Consumer Technology Association. Highlighting the latest and greatest tech advances in a wide array of industries, CES has gradually become a major event for car makers, offering an opportunity to unveil new infotainment features, navigation features, connected car features, autonomous features, drive systems, and even full-blown concept cars to the roughly 170,000 attendees expected to appear.

As the car world continues to overlap more completely with digital technology, CES is now even more integral to the auto industry. This year will see that trend continue.

5 Things To Look For At The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show

1. Nissan’s Weird Brain-To-Car Communication


5 Things To Look For At The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show - image 755580

Forget voice commands, forget gesture control – what about simply thinking about what you want your car to do? That’s exactly what Nissan is previewing at CES this year with this odd Brain-To-Car technology, which is apparently able to predict the driver’s intentions and even his or her mood by monitoring their brainwave activity. The system then reacts to inputs before they happen by tweaking settings for the dampers, throttle response, and the like.

Nissan says the tech can enhance the “driving pleasure and experience in autonomous driving vehicles,” but to be perfectly honest, we’re not entirely sure how the tech makes the car less reliant on human inputs. Perhaps it could put us on a path where you just have to think your way home, rather than working the wheel and pedals in the traditional driving fashion. Perhaps we should think of it like an adaptive automatic transmission, but for the entire car.

Read the full story here.

2. Truly Autonomous Vehicles, Courtesy Of Lyft


5 Things To Look For At The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show - image 755662

Raise your hand if you used a ride-hailing service like Lyft to ferry you around on New Year’s Eve last weekend. Well, I can’t actually see you, my dear readers, but my guess is that most of you have your hand raised right now. If not, then you at least thought about raising your hand, but didn’t out of fear of looking weird.

The point is companies like Lyft are doing pretty well for themselves these days, but the next most-obvious evolution for quick, convenient transport has to be the wide-spread integration of fully autonomous vehicles. As such, Lyft is getting ahead of the game by developing exactly that and will offer a preview of its work thus far at CES, giving interested participants a chance to hitch a ride in a self-driving BMW 5 Series sedan from any one of 20 different locations in Sin City. So far, though, no word on whether or not the robo chauffeur will be taking tips…

Read the full story here.

3. Rinspeed Snap Concept


2017 Riviera 72 Sports Motor Yacht - image 738768

If you love odd, yet oddly intriguing concept cars, then Swiss automaker and tuner Rinspeed should be right up your alley. Past offerings have included the sQuba from 2008, a Lotus Elise modified to perform as a submarine, and the Budii from 2014, a surprisingly self-aware autonomous vehicle designed to constantly learn and become more and more efficient at its job.

Rinspeed’s latest is the Snap, a modular transportation solution that’s adaptable to any and all situations thanks to its Lego-like ability to fit together in, well, a snap. Whether you want a mobile living space, a place to host friends, or even just a way to move around freight, the Snap has the right pieces to suit the job. All-electric drive and fully autonomous capability are obviously two of the primary features here.

Read our full review on the Rinspeed Snap Concept

4. Byton Concept Vehicle


2019 Byton Concept EV - image 755413

This concept from Byton is also debuting alongside the legions of all-electric, highly autonomous concepts at CES this year, but unlike the Rinspeed, the Byton is a little more down to Earth. If the name is unfamiliar, Byton is an international extension of
the Chinese firm Future Mobility Corporation. Based in Santa Clara, California, and staffed by former executives from BMW, Tesla, and Nissan, this is one up-and-comer that might have some traction.

The concept is heavily focused on offering high-end digital technology, with ride sharing and connectivity at the top of the priority list. The company is even calling the car concept a smart device. Inside, there are several screens provided for each of the passengers, plus there’s an enormous screen taken a prominent spot across the dash. Voice control and gesture control are included, plus there’s a good deal of support for all the popular apps and mobile devices you’d expect. Byton says a production version will soon finds its way to the company’s factory in China, with the first batch selling to the Chinese market around 2019. European and the U.S. consumers will get it in 2020. Maybe.

Read our full review on the Byton Concept Vehicle.

5. Honda’s Latest 3E Robotics Concepts


Anyone familiar with lovable Asimo will know Honda is pretty invested in the world of robotics. Now, the H-badge is headed to CES with a whole new range of experimental technologies. Dubbed “Empower, Experience, Empathy” (hence the “3E” name), they include a variety of new ways to get around, such as the 3E-B18, “a chair-type mobility concept designed for casual use in indoor or outdoor spaces,” and the 3E-D18, “an autonomous off-road concept vehicle with AI designed to support people in a broad range of work activities.” There’s even a companion robot designed to show compassion with a variety of facial expressions.

Read our full story here.

The Where, When, And What


5 Things To Look For At The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show - image 755943

As in years past, CES 2018 will once again be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, located at 3150 Paradise Road. You can find a map of the venue and tips for transportation to the event here.

Things get rolling Sunday, January 7th, with the doors closing later in the afternoon on Friday, January 12th.

Last year, nearly 185,000 people attended, with 4,000 companies exhibiting and 1,200 speakers. Unfortunately, CES is not open to the general public.

References


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.

PostHeaderIcon Byton Concept EV

A Chinese electric car start-up called Future Mobility (FMC) is dipping its toes in the electric car market by launching car company Byton. The new automaker isn’t taking long to make its presence felt in the segment as it already has an electric mid-sized SUV that it plans to showcase at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. It all sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Exterior


2019 Byton Concept EV - image 755406
“Byton’s claim that the vehicle is roughly the same size as the Audi Q5”

We know very little about the exterior of the new Byton electric SUV other than these few teaser photos. The photos don’t reveal much, but we do see a few noteworthy elements, including what appears to be thin headlights that are made up of three large LEDs lined up horizontally. Just below them is another lighting fixture that looks to be more cosmetic than anything else. In my head, they resemble beams that extend in different directions, creating the kind of effect you normally see in a concert. A different teaser photo shows the lights emitting a green hue, but the similar treatment in the rear section of the SUV shows the lights emitting a red color. It’s unclear if this is part of Byton’s electric SUV package, but it does attract some attention.


The teaser photos don’t reveal any details on the side section of the SUV. For that, I checked out the teaser video to see what the silhouette looks like. The video shows a brief glimpse of the top section of the vehicle and the proportions suggest that there’s some legitimacy to Byton’s claim that the vehicle is roughly the same size as the Audi Q5.

Interior


2019 Byton Concept EV - image 755405
“The most prominent element is that massive infotainment screen that stretches to an absurd length of 1,250 mm, or about 49 inches, and rises up to a height of 250 mm, or almost 10 inches”

As little as we know about the Byton SUV’s exterior, we already have a clear look at what the interior looks like. The cabin looks the part of what you’d expect from a concept vehicle. The most prominent element is that massive infotainment screen that stretches to an absurd length of 1,250 mm, or about 49 inches, and rises up to a height of 250 mm, or almost 10 inches! That’s a little over four feet of infotainment screen occupying the entire length of the floating dashboard. The automaker says that this approach makes it easy for both the driver and front passenger to use the screen comfortably. Hard to argue against that sentiment.

Byton’s exuberance in using digital displays can also be found on the steering wheel where a smaller display is located right in the middle of it. We’ve seen this done in the tuning world with iPads in the middle of the wheel, but Bytone is taking it to another level. Apparently, the company thinks that the more displays in the car, the better it is for all of its occupants.


2019 Byton Concept EV - image 755407

Another teaser photo shows a large amount of interior surface dressed up in brown leather. I had my reservations when I first saw it, but I started warming up to it once I got a long look at the dashboard when it’s dressed in the good stuff. It actually looks nice. You’ll notice too that both front seats come with large armrests. I’m a fan of armrests for a number of reasons so I’m digging this small design detail. It gives the two front seats the feel of comfortable lounge chairs. At the very least, they should pass off as lounge chairs because the driver will probably have to ride in a high seating position to see over that absurdly large infotainment screen.

Drivetrain


2019 Byton Concept EV - image 755409
“The SUV will also feature accelerated charging capability, including the ability to charge 76 miles (120 km) of battery range in just 10 minutes of charging.”

From what we know at this point, the Byton electric SUV will be powered by electric motors. According to FMC president, Daniel Kirchert, the SUV will have a range of 217 miles (350 km) in standard form. There are also plans to develop a more premium variant that comes with a range of 311 miles (500 km). The SUV will also feature accelerated charging capability, including the ability to charge 76 miles (120 km) of battery range in just 10 minutes of charging.

On the side of autonomy, Byton plans to install hardware inside its electric SUV that would someday allow it to achieve Level 5 autonomy. That isn’t expected to happen when the car is launched, so expect a version similar to Tesla’s over-the-air updates to be a big part of Byton’s ability to boost the SUV’s tech abilities while it’s on-the-go.

More details about the drivetrain, including the SUV’s power output, should be revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show next week.

Conclusion


2019 Byton Concept EV - image 755412

I’ve come this far resisting the urge to bring up Faraday Future and its FF91 SUV, but I can’t keep it in anymore. The similarities are uncanny between the two companies, right down to choosing CES as the event to debut a ground-breaking, all-electric, self-driving-capable SUV. Remember, Faraday debuted the FF91 at CES two years ago and it promised a lot of the same things that we’re hearing from Byton. That’s not to say that the new start-up is going to suffer through the problems that Faraday has had since, but I can’t help but think that Byton may be trying to bite the same tree here.

That said, I will give the company some leeway to show what it’s capable of doing moving forward. That’s the only fair thing to do at this point. The concept looks promising and the ambition is there to really make a mark in a segment that’s continuing to grow by the year.

But those days of blindly championing start-up electric car markers are long gone. Now, I’m adopting a wait-and-see approach. I hope there’s something to Byton’s electric SUV because I want the company to succeed. But if it doesn’t, don’t count on me being surprised.

  • Leave it
    • * We’ve seen this song-and-dance before
    • * Exterior is still a question mark
    • * No drivetrain details

References


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.

PostHeaderIcon Byton EV

A Chinese electric car start-up called Future Mobility (FMC) is dipping its toes in the electric car market by launching car company Byton. The new automaker isn’t taking long to make its presence felt in the segment as it already has an electric mid-sized SUV that it plans to showcase at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. It all sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Exterior


2019 Byton EV - image 755406
“Byton’s claim that the vehicle is roughly the same size as the Audi Q5”

We know very little about the exterior of the new Byton electric SUV other than these few teaser photos. The photos don’t reveal much, but we do see a few noteworthy elements, including what appears to be thin headlights that are made up of three large LEDs lined up horizontally. Just below them is another lighting fixture that looks to be more cosmetic than anything else. In my head, they resemble beams that extend in different directions, creating the kind of effect you normally see in a concert. A different teaser photo shows the lights emitting a green hue, but the similar treatment in the rear section of the SUV shows the lights emitting a red color. It’s unclear if this is part of Byton’s electric SUV package, but it does attract some attention.


The teaser photos don’t reveal any details on the side section of the SUV. For that, I checked out the teaser video to see what the silhouette looks like. The video shows a brief glimpse of the top section of the vehicle and the proportions suggest that there’s some legitimacy to Byton’s claim that the vehicle is roughly the same size as the Audi Q5.

Interior


2019 Byton EV - image 755405
“The most prominent element is that massive infotainment screen that stretches to an absurd length of 1,250 mm, or about 49 inches, and rises up to a height of 250 mm, or almost 10 inches”

As little as we know about the Byton SUV’s exterior, we already have a clear look at what the interior looks like. The cabin looks the part of what you’d expect from a concept vehicle. The most prominent element is that massive infotainment screen that stretches to an absurd length of 1,250 mm, or about 49 inches, and rises up to a height of 250 mm, or almost 10 inches! That’s a little over four feet of infotainment screen occupying the entire length of the floating dashboard. The automaker says that this approach makes it easy for both the driver and front passenger to use the screen comfortably. Hard to argue against that sentiment.

Byton’s exuberance in using digital displays can also be found on the steering wheel where a smaller display is located right in the middle of it. We’ve seen this done in the tuning world with iPads in the middle of the wheel, but Bytone is taking it to another level. Apparently, the company thinks that the more displays in the car, the better it is for all of its occupants.


2019 Byton EV - image 755407

Another teaser photo shows a large amount of interior surface dressed up in brown leather. I had my reservations when I first saw it, but I started warming up to it once I got a long look at the dashboard when it’s dressed in the good stuff. It actually looks nice. You’ll notice too that both front seats come with large armrests. I’m a fan of armrests for a number of reasons so I’m digging this small design detail. It gives the two front seats the feel of comfortable lounge chairs. At the very least, they should pass off as lounge chairs because the driver will probably have to ride in a high seating position to see over that absurdly large infotainment screen.

Drivetrain


2019 Byton EV - image 755409
“The SUV will also feature accelerated charging capability, including the ability to charge 76 miles (120 km) of battery range in just 10 minutes of charging.”

From what we know at this point, the Byton electric SUV will be powered by electric motors. According to FMC president, Daniel Kirchert, the SUV will have a range of 217 miles (350 km) in standard form. There are also plans to develop a more premium variant that comes with a range of 311 miles (500 km). The SUV will also feature accelerated charging capability, including the ability to charge 76 miles (120 km) of battery range in just 10 minutes of charging.

On the side of autonomy, Byton plans to install hardware inside its electric SUV that would someday allow it to achieve Level 5 autonomy. That isn’t expected to happen when the car is launched, so expect a version similar to Tesla’s over-the-air updates to be a big part of Byton’s ability to boost the SUV’s tech abilities while it’s on-the-go.

More details about the drivetrain, including the SUV’s power output, should be revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show next week.

Conclusion


2019 Byton EV - image 755412

I’ve come this far resisting the urge to bring up Faraday Future and its FF91 SUV, but I can’t keep it in anymore. The similarities are uncanny between the two companies, right down to choosing CES as the event to debut a ground-breaking, all-electric, self-driving-capable SUV. Remember, Faraday debuted the FF91 at CES two years ago and it promised a lot of the same things that we’re hearing from Byton. That’s not to say that the new start-up is going to suffer through the problems that Faraday has had since, but I can’t help but think that Byton may be trying to bite the same tree here.

That said, I will give the company some leeway to show what it’s capable of doing moving forward. That’s the only fair thing to do at this point. The concept looks promising and the ambition is there to really make a mark in a segment that’s continuing to grow by the year.

But those days of blindly championing start-up electric car markers are long gone. Now, I’m adopting a wait-and-see approach. I hope there’s something to Byton’s electric SUV because I want the company to succeed. But if it doesn’t, don’t count on me being surprised.

  • Leave it
    • * We’ve seen this song-and-dance before
    • * Exterior is still a question mark
    • * No drivetrain details

References


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Niro EV Concept

Launched for the 2017 model year, the Kia Niro is a subcompact crossover positioned below the popular Sportage. Previewed by a concept vehicle introduced in 2013, the Niro is built on the same platform as the Hyundai Ioniq, and it’s available with a 1.6-liter gasoline engine and electric motor combo, in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants. A gasoline-only version isn’t on a drawing table yet, but a fully electric model is definitely underway. Already spotted testing on public roads in 2017, the Niro EV is coming to the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in concept form.

Heavily based on the production model, the electric concept is more than just a Niro with an electric motor and a battery. Kia also meddled with the exterior design and created a new lighting system for the show car. Inside the cabin, we will see a “never-seen-before human-machine interface (HMI),” which could preview an upcoming infotainment system. Most details are still under wraps, so make sure you stay tuned for an update from the Consumer Electronics Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Niro EV concept.

Exterior

  • Redesigned headlamps
  • New daytine running lights
  • Revised taillights
  • New rear bumper with LED lights
  • New side skirts
  • New wheel design
  • “Motion graphic” lighting system

2018 Kia Niro EV Concept - image 755518
“The concept comes with an "advanced new ‘motion graphic’ lighting system"”

Although the photos of the concept car are quite dark, we can spot a few essential details. For starters, it’s pretty obvious that the show car is a modified Niro. All the familiar features are there, including the headlamps and taillights, the “Tigernose” grille, and traditional crossover shape. But unlike the production model, the concept comes with an “advanced new ‘motion graphic’ lighting system.” Kia had nothing to say about it yet, but was careful enough to highlight it in the photos.

A quick glance at the headlamps reveals a new LED pattern with thin stripes around the lens and new detailing around the main bulb. The daytime running lights in the bumper are also new, now formed of a thin hockey stick-like element and a diagonal bar toward the bottom. The traditional grille was also replaced with what appears to be a display with LED dots. It’s unclear whether the graphics are customizable here but it could change depending on the drive mode selected.


2018 Kia Niro EV Concept - image 755522
“The license place recess is much wider now and looks like a sporty diffuser”

Things become a lot more interesting around back, where Kia replaced the Niro’s usual taillights with slimmer units. On top of being thinner, which gives the crossover a more aggressive stance, they also feature a new LED pattern with thin stripes around the lens and vertical bars, similar to those seen up front. The red lights in the bumper also mimic the shape of the daytime running lights. The license place recess is much wider now and looks like a sporty diffuser. Inside, there’s “Niro EV” lettering in white LED lights.

The SUV’s profile appears to be the same, but I can see a new side skirt design, new wheels, and a slightly lowered ride height.

Kia says that the “motion graphic” lighting system previews the potential for such a technologies “for market introduction in coming years.” I’ll be honest here, I can’t wait to find out what this thing is all about.

Interior

  • Likely based on production model
  • Extra apps and features
  • new human-machine interface

2017 Kia Niro - image 665043
“The concept also features a "never-seen-before" human-machine interface (HMI)”

Kia had absolutely nothing to say about the concept car’s interior, but it’s safe to assume that it won’t stray too far from the production model’s layout. Sure, Kia may add a few new features, like a custom instrument cluster with information about the electric drivetrain and additional apps for the infotainment system, but the general cabin design should remain unchanged. It could showcase new visuals like a flashy two-tone upholstery, new contrast stitching, and new materials but don’t expect anything wild.

New technology is also on the table, but don’t get your hopes up for something revolutionary. With the Niro EV already under development and testing on public roads, the concept is probably an almost production-ready vehicle. Kia did say that the concept also features a never-seen-before human-machine interface but it remains to be seen if the Korean brand will introduce something entirely new. I’ve read way too much fancy PR talk lately so I’m tempted to believe it’s something we’ve already seen in other concept car but packaged in a different way.

Drivetrain

  • Electric motor from Hyundai Ioniq
  • 28-kWh battery
  • 155-mile range
  • 118 horsepower
  • 217 pound-feet of torque

2018 Kia Niro EV Concept - image 755519
“The Niro EV could use the same drivetrain as the Hyundai Ioniq”

Kia has yet to release drivetrain information on the Niro EV concept, but it did say that it features a “highly efficient battery-electric powertrain.” However, we already know that the Niro is based on the Hyundai Ioniq, which already has an electric version, so it’s safe to assume that the Niro EV could use the same drivetrain.

Introduced in 2017, the Ioniq Electric has a single electric motor that generates 118 horsepower and 217 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a single-speed reducer transmission that’s capable of pushing the car to a top speed of 102 mph. The juice is stored in a 28-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery that promises an estimated range of 155 miles. Charging the battery to 80 percent only takes 24 minutes using a 100-kW fast charger, and an integrated in-cable control box (ICCB) allows the vehicle to charge using a standard 120-volt wall socket. These specs should be similar for the production version of the Niro EV.

Of course, the concept car could have additional output and features, but we won’t know for sure until the vehicle breaks cover at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Conclusion


2018 Kia Niro EV Concept - image 755520

The Niro EV may be just a concept car for now, but it’s pretty clear that it will become a production model soon. The vehicle was already spotted tested on public roads and it will most likely arrive by the end of 2018. With the Niro already available in hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants, the full electric version will round out the nameplate and give Kia a solid competitor for all markets.

  • Leave it
    • * Details still under wraps

References

Kia Niro


2019 Kia Niro EV - image 742858

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Kia Niro EV.


2017 Kia Niro - image 665038

Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Niro.


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.


maker logos - image 745757

Read more Kia news.

PostHeaderIcon Kia to Show Off its Electrified Future at CES 2018 with the Niro EV Concept

Kia will head to the Consumer Electronics Show in full force with a new all-electric concept car. The new concept is called the Niro EV, and it’s actually a model that we’ve seen recently in the wild getting some test runs under its belt. The Niro EV is unlikely to hit production anytime soon, but it does feature a slate of new technologies that Kia hopes will be introduced on production models in the coming years.


Kia to Show Off its Electrified Future at CES 2018 with the Niro EV Concept - image 755491
“We can expect the Niro EV to come with a single electric motor that produces 118 horsepower and 217 pound-feet of torque”

Parse through Kia’s plans for the Niro EV, and it’s clear that the concept has a bigger purpose than just being a show car. It has, in Kia’s words, a “never-before-seen” human-machine interface and a “motion graphic” lighting system, two technologies that could find their way in future production models, provided that there’s some interest behind them.

Beyond the allure of these new tech features, the Niro EV is an electric car at heart. It’s also the third model variant to carry the “Niro” nameplate, following the mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants that are already out on the market. Details about the EV version will be released at CES, though it’s likely that the concept will carry a similar electric powertrain package that’s similar to the one found inside the Hyundai Ioniq EV.


Kia to Show Off its Electrified Future at CES 2018 with the Niro EV Concept - image 755490
“Details about the EV version will be released at CES”

Should that be the case, we can expect the Niro EV to come with a single electric motor that produces 118 horsepower and 217 pound-feet of torque. A single-speed reducer transmission is in charge of sending power to the two front wheels while a 28-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery is responsible for delivering an estimated range of 155 miles. Since we’re talking about just a single electric motor, charging it up to 80-percent capacity will only take around 24 minutes using a 100-kW fast charger.

The arrival of the Kia Niro EV isn’t surprising since the Korean automaker has been pushing to build its lineup to include more hybrids and EV models. It already has the Soul EV in the market, and given the popularity of the Niro’s two hybrid variants, it makes sense for Kia to add an all-electric version into the mix.

References

Kia Niro


2019 Kia Niro EV - image 742858

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Kia Niro EV.


2017 Kia Niro - image 665038

Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Niro.


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.


maker logos - image 745757

Read more Kia news.

PostHeaderIcon CES 2018 Attendees Get To Ride in Autonomous Lyft and Delphi Taxis

The Consumer Electronics Show is hitting Las Vegas next week. If you happen to be in the vicinity, you may find yourself with the opportunity to experience riding in an autonomous taxi. That’s because Lyft is launching a partnership with Delphi’s tech arm, Aptiv, to offer cab rides using BMW 5 Series sedans that are outfitted with autonomous driving technology.


“A safety driver will be in the front seat to take control of the wheel if it’s necessary”

With the calendar flipping to 2018, the race to develop autonomous driving technology is about to heat up even more. It’s not unusual for companies like Lyft and Delphi that are in this race to use CES as a showcase event for their respective products. That’s why this initiative is happening.

That said, commuters aren’t exactly stepping into a 5 Series by themselves. According to a press release announcing the partnership, a safety driver will be in the front seat to take control of the wheel if it’s necessary. In addition, an in-car host will sit shotgun next to the driver to properly explain to commuters how the technology works and how far along it is from becoming a real thing.


CES 2018 Attendees Get To Ride in Autonomous Lyft and Delphi Taxis - image 755660
“If you happen to be in the locale, these rides will be offered in more than 20 specific destinations throughout Sin City”

Lyft and Aptiv are calling the venture “a first-of-its-kind fully automated point-to-point ride-hailing experience.” It’s hard to argue against that claim because, at this point, public commutes using autonomous driving vehicles is still in its infancy. We’ve already seen a lot of automakers and tech companies make big promises on developing autonomous driving vehicles, but there remains a lot of skepticism surrounding the technology. In fact, a Deloitte study from 2017 revealed that only 25 percent of Americans believe in a future where self-driving cars are safe.

If these companies want to turn that percentage around, they’re going to need to do initiatives like this to convince commuters of the safety and potential of autonomous driving technology. Lyft and Aptiv will do their part at CES with these demonstration rides.
If you happen to be in the locale, these rides will be offered in more than 20 specific destinations throughout Sin City. Hop on one of them and let us know how it goes.

References

BMW 5 Series


2017 BMW 5 Series - image 703226

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW 5 Series.


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.

PostHeaderIcon Genovation GXE, the Electric Corvette, Gets More Power for its Pre-Production Debut at CES

Will wonders ever cease? It certainly doesn’t seem like it. Remember that electric Corvette from Genovation Cars that hit 200 mph in 2016 before being show off at Pebble Beach? Well, it will make another public appearance at the 2018 CES show in January, but this time with 800 horsepower and more than 700 pound-feet of torque on tap – figures that promise to push it to the 220-mph mark and all without the use of any dino juice… Oh, what a time to be alive.

Based on the C7 Corvette that’s about to be retired to make way for a new generation, the GXE was originally rated at just 492 kilowatts or around 660 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of twist. Those aren’t bad figures for an electric beast, that’s for sure. We’re not sure how Genovation did it, but it’s managed to provide the world with updated specs that now include an extra 140 ponies and at least 100 more pound-feet of torque. Those figures are pretty staggering, but even more so, when you consider the Corvette ZR1 delivers just 755 ponies and 715 pound-feet. Of course, this news also comes with more goodies too, including an updated specs sheet that promises a 60-mph sprint in less than three seconds and a top speed that peaks more than 220 mph.

There is a downfall, however, as that GXE Electric Vette won’t get you very far and you better not expect a fun day at the track. Despite the fact that battery technology is on the up and up, this baby only gets 130 miles or so from its 60-kWh battery pack, and there’s no word on charging time, either. So, when you shell out the $750,000 for one of those 75 models being created don’t expect to do a whole lot with it outside of some occasional playing or trotting back and forth around town.








References

Chevrolet Corvette


2014 - 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - image 526921

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Corvette.


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.

PostHeaderIcon Merry Christmas: Henrik Fisker Teases the EMotion’s Interior Just Weeks Before CES Debut

It’s been a long time coming, but the Fisker Emotion looks like it’ll be the best thing created since toilet paper… or… uh, at least since the Tesla Model S, anyway. Looking at the important bits – it could use Fisker’s new battery, so it’ll have 500 miles of range, it’s gorgeous, and is said to offer level 5 autonomy. Butterfly doors are also standard because, well, Fisker. But, the one thing we haven’t had the chance to lay eyes on yet is the interior, but that’s soon about the change as Fisker gears up for a full review at CES in January. And, before that happens, the man has decided to release a sketch showing off a basic design concept with a massive color palette followed by a shot of a door trim panel being wrapped in leather. Let’s check ‘em out…

Luxury of the Future

Fisker hasn’t exactly had the most amazing past, hitting several setbacks along his way, but he’s finally looking be at the top of his game, and maybe he really is redefining the future of luxury. What do you think?


Luxury Means Leather

Here, you can see part of a door trim panel, more specifically, the armrest being wrapped in the oh-so-fine leather as Team Fisker works to get the Emotion interior done before it debuts on Jan 9th at CES. What are your thoughts on this color choice?


References

Fisker Emotion


2017 Fisker EMotion - image 693723

Read our full review on the 2018 Fisker Emotion.


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.

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