The next auto manufacturer display we visited was that of Mercedes-Benz. Benz has created what amounts to a self-driving luxury vehicle with the F 015 Luxury in Motion research vehicle. This vehicle illustrates how the car is growing from a mere form of transportation into ultimately becoming a private retreating space and mobile living space. In the image below, the area in front of the vehicle is darkened to allow the driver to see the display wall of the demonstration to get a true feel of what a self-driving vehicle is capable of.
Also on display was the S500 INTELLIGENT DRIVE, via which Mercedes-Benz has demonstrated that autonomous driving is possible now, even in complex urban and rural traffic situations. The S500 INTELLIGENT DRIVE will also support automated parking for either parallel or end-on parking situations. The show model was powered by a V8 BiTurbo engine. Mercedes-Benz is truly being a world leader when it comes to autonomous driving.
FIAT / CHRYSLER
Well it appears that we have saved the best for last. Fiat / Chrysler is touting its acclaimed “Uconnect Access” suite of connected in-vehicle services. Uconnect is introducing all-new services called Vehicle Finder, Monthly Vehicle Report and Vehicle Health Alert. These additional services are designed to help vehicle owners monitor and maintain important vehicle systems, easily navigate to desired destinations and keep track of your vehicle’s location at all times. Below is a screenshot of what the monthly vehicle report looks like.
Featured vehicles were the 2016 Fiat 500X and the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. The 500X is an all-new crossover that features advanced drive systems including two engine options. Fiat also offers an optional 9-speed automatic transmission and optional all-wheel drive, which features a disconnecting rear axle for improved fuel economy. The 500X contains up to 70 advanced safety and security features.
Being a speed freak from an early age on, my absolute favorite was the 2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. This is the most powerful and fastest production muscle car ever, with a cool 707 horsepower generated by a supercharged 6.2L HEMI V-8 engine. This beast has a certified 1/4-mile time of 11.2 seconds at 125 MPH on street tires! In spite of all that brute force, it can still achieve 22 MPG highway with a segment-exclusive TorqueFlight 8-speed automatic transmission (assuming one can resist the temptation to utilize all that power at every opportunity). The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat will set you back just shy of $60,000.
To recap, the common themes we encountered here at CES 2015 for the automotive manufacturers were connectivity, next-generation vehicle communications systems, next-generation infotainment systems, gesture control, autonomous driving and zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell technology. What ties all of this to what we at TechnologyX do on a day-to-day basis, you ask? How about technology like quad-core NVIDIA graphics processors, 3-D high-resolution displays and automotive solid-state drives (SSDs) that enable the advanced infotainment systems and advanced levels of connectivity? Whether we realize it or not, gaming has been a proving ground for many aspects of these new technologies – at least new to the automotive arena. With a large gaming audience, these are a few things very near and dear to their hearts. The next time someone asks what you are doing when you are gaming, your response can be “Helping advance automotive technology.”
Stay tuned for more coverage of CES 2015!