What new car tech to expect from CES 2023

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Major car makers and OEMs will showcase the latest innovations at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show. Here’s what’s going on show this year.

When the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) opens tomorrow, it can make the surprising claim to being Europe’s most influential motor show of 2023, despite being held in a desert thousands of kays away.

Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz,  Volkswagen and Volvo will show off new cars, concepts or technologies at the event, while some of Europe’s most influential suppliers, such as Bosch and Continental, will preview their newest innovations.

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CES has thrived as a showcase for automotive tech even as traditional motor shows decline in Europe. The event allows car makers to outline exactly how they are innovating within an industry that has traditionally been seen as a tech laggard, while also connecting with those suppliers that can speed up the process.

For example, long-time CES supporter BMW will use the event this year to unveil a concept previewing the Neue Klasse platform that will underpin its new electric cars from 2025. CEO Oliver Zipse will address the conference this evening at 8pm Pacific Time, providing more colour on how the company plans to advance its technology rollout.

Stellantis, meanwhile, is using the event to reveal the Inception concept showing Peugeot’s new design direction, underlining the global appeal of CES, given Peugeot’s continued absence from the US market. Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares will also speak at the event on Thursday.

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Volkswagen, meanwhile, will use CES as a staging post for the global unveiling of the ID 7, an electric alternative to the Passat sedan. The full unveiling of the MEB-platform-based liftback won’t take place until later in the year, but this shows it in disguise and previews some cabin technology, such as the central display and a smart ventilation system.

For the first time, the Volkswagen Group’s software division, Cariad, also has a stand at the event.

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Audi meanwhile is there to update showgoers on the virtual-reality gaming technology Holoride 4, which went on sales in certain Audi cars in Germany this year and will be introduced to other European markets later this year.

Actual production-ready cars are rare at CES, but Volvo will break with tradition to give the EX90 electric SUV its first show outing following its launch in November last year.

The automotive suppliers

Suppliers are often relegated to the minor halls in traditional motor shows, but not at CES, where they sit side by side with the car makers to show off technology that will facilitate key attributes of future models, such as longer electric range, greater autonomy, improved connectivity and a user experience closer to that of the new smartphones that compete for attention in CES.

America’s big tech companies, such as Amazon and Google, as well as smartphone chip specialists like Qualcomm and Intel, believe they are best placed to help car companies build the ‘software-defined’ car. However, this year, Europe’s traditional car suppliers also are making a splash in CES to help convince the industry that they still have a key role to play.

For example, Forvia, the giant formed last year by merging Faurecia with light specialist Hella, is taking a stand at CES for the first time in its new guise. Technologies on display by the company include a new ‘solid-state’ high-definition headlight as well as a new hydrogen storage system for fuel-cell vehicles that Forvia reckons holds 40 per cent more of the liquid than cylindrical tanks.

Bosch, the world’s largest automotive supplier, will display its long-range lidar sensor to tempt automotive companies away from American specialists such as Luminar. It will also show off a new software-defined vehicle platform, as well as integrated electric ‘eAxle’ systems.

Also making the journey over from Germany, Continental is demonstrating its ‘system-on-chip’ computing addition to its semi-autonomous driving systems that gives a more complete package to rival the likes of those offered by Qualcomm, Nvidia or Intel-owned Mobileye. Continental will also show off “the automotive industry’s first software-defined long-range lidar”, which it claims can detect vehicles up to 300 metres away.

Chassis-componentry maker Benteler, meanwhile, is showing off a Pininfarina-designed autonomous pod that it plans to productionise using Mobileye vision technology.

The company has previously used CES to show off an ill-fated EV skateboard platform, but its new Holon division is a push into the urban people-moving business.

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