At CES 2017, Auto Industry Asks ‘How Are We Driving Tomorrow?’

By Christian Stampfer on 6 January 2017
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DSC_2010DETROIT—Over the past years, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has gained significant importance for the automotive industry, despite it being held immediately prior to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The question of “How are we driving tomorrow?” was the central focus of every car manufacturer at this year’s show.

For 2017, the automakers in attendance included BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, and Volkswagen. Additionally, new competitors in the market, such as Faraday Future, were present.

Here is a quick look at the key announcements of the 2017 CES.


BMW showcased a variety of innovations and new technologies. The well-established Connected Drive platform serves as the basis for all developments. The BMW driver of the future will be fully connected and will be able to access information about places and buildings along the route by pointing with a fingertip. Simply select a building via the BMW Augmented Gesture Control and real-time information will be displayed.

The BMWi Inside Future sculpture provides a glimpse into the passenger cabin of upcoming vehicles. At the center console one will find the BMW HoloActive Touch display. It can be operated like a touch screen, the only exception being that nothing is actually touched. The system uses a free-floating virtual display that is projected above the console. The virtual display recognizes input via the driver’s finger movements.

Next to the innovative technologies and services, BMW also brought the new 5 Series sedan to the CES. The car serves as a prototype for highly automated driving in a fully connected environment.


While other car makers focus on autonomous driving, Toyota decided to focus on a different strategy. Concept-i puts the human first. The car of the future (and its artificial intelligence called Yui) should learn and grow with the driver. Toyota wants the driver to build a relationship with the car and both should learn from each other. Consequently, the car greets the driver and passengers as soon as they approach the vehicle. The artificial intelligence display appears on the exterior door panels to say “Hi” and asks for a destination.

Additionally, Concept-i leverages automated driving technologies. A next generation head up display is used that maintains the driver’s eyes and attention on the road. The system decides, under certain conditions and personal preferences, whether manual driving is possible or automated driving should be used.

In a recent press release following the CES, Toyota and Ford announced their teaming up for the development of a Smart Device Link platform. The consortium is striving to develop an open-source platform for car-related apps. Think of it as the App-Store for your car.

Click here to continue to Page 2Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen at CES

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