Future Automotive Technologies in 2017 - From Personal Assistants to Augmented Reality Systems
|   Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Automakers have unveiled at CES 2017 Las Vegas personal assistants to make road trips more comfortable, and augmented reality systems that improve the experience of buying a car.

In recent years, the cars that we see every day on the streets have begun to benefit from a number of major improvements, such as Internet connectivity, electric propulsion and various autonomic functions.

In this context, the link between vehicles and other types of products such as smartphones or smart homes has become increasingly stronger, and manufacturers have started attending technology fairs as a complement, or in some cases as an alternative to car showrooms.
This is the case of the technology fair Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where many manufacturers presented their vision of the future for the automotive industry.

The Germans from BMW unveiled at CES the BMW i Inside Future concept, which as the name suggests, is a vision about the interior for future cars. As part of this concept, BMW introduces HoloActive Touch, a system that combines the operation of a smartphone with gestures already available in the BMW 7 Series.

Basically we are talking about a virtual touchscreen in the form of a hologram on which the driver performs commands with his finger without touching a physical surface. The concept is visible just off the steering wheel to the appropriate height of the center console and a video camera detects hand movements in a certain area and records the position of the fingers. When you press your finger on a function, the system emits a pulse through which the driver knows that his action was registered and activated.

With the launch of a new futuristic concept, Toyota introduced the integrated personal assistant Yui, with the role to customize the car, which becomes a traveling companion with whom you can discuss various topics and even warns you when you're tired. Thus, interaction with Yui goes from a simple discussion on current issues all the way to Yui taking complete control of a car to steer it automatically.

Audi announced at CES that it will develop autonomous cars by 2020 with Nvidia, a company known mainly for dedicated video cards for computers and laptops. Nvidia is working on this technology for two years, and the new computer for autonomous cars is known as Xavier.
The Audi models will reach autonomy level 4, which means that the cars can drive themselves in most situations. For starters, Audi has demonstrated at CES the autonomous skills of a Q7 model.

Other solutions come from Ford which will soon allow you to talk to the car via personal assistant, Alexa developed by Amazon. Mercedes announced from late last year that they will use Google Assistant, while General Motors will launch a similar partnership with the Watson assistant from from IBM. Through these assistants, you can find out the weather forecast or you can order food through a simple voice command.

Intel and Qualcomm, two of the major processor manufacturers, announced automotive versions of their products. Gathered under the name Go, Intel processors will be adapted in versions for desktop and laptop computers, as well as modems integrated into chipsets that will enable 5G speed Internet connection. The folks at Qualcomm have announced a partnership with Volkswagen to provide 4G modems for 2018 models, as well as Snapdragon 820A processors from 2019.
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