Mitsubishi Mi-Tech turbine-PHEV buggy blows the doors off our dreams
Too bad there's almost no chance of a production modelFrom the outside, the Mi-Tech impresses with blocky lines and fat fender flares. But its star feature is the fact that it has no roof and no doors. The only thing that comes close is the pair of cowls behind the seats. The inside has a spare design with a body-color dash and cutouts for vents. It does have modern cues such as the piano-key buttons and fullscreen heads-up display.
is slowly but surely turning into an auto show in its own right, with taking the stage in Las Vegas. But this show is still very much a place where we can get an in-depth look at specific technologies being developed for automotive applications, and at CES 2020, there were a number of important ones on display.
Here are our five favorite bits of brand-spankin'-new auto tech.
Bosch Virtual Visor
It's amazing, with all the new tech being crammed into cars these days, some features still use tried-and-true, old-school designs. Take your sun visor for instance, which is basically the same now as it was almost a century ago. Automotive supplier Bosch is now looking to shake up this relatively ancient design.
Porsche will let buyers skip the dealership and buy cars online
A new pilot program launching with 25 Porsche dealers will give potential owners a totally different purchasing experience.Buying and leasing options for new and used vehicles are included. You'll be able to browse available inventory online and handle nearly every part of the process without stepping foot in a dealership. All that's needed at the end is a visit to the dealer to sign final documents, and obviously, drive the vehicle away.
uses a transparent LCD screen and an in-car RGB camera which can track the sun shining on the driver's face. The system then darkens sections of the Virtual Visor to prevent glares, with some 90% of the visor staying transparent at all times, for better visibility.
We recently had a chance to before its CES debut, and it looks to be the real deal. Here's hoping it can be integrated into new cars in the coming years.
Amazon Alexa integration
Both and announced Amazon Alexa integration for their vehicles at CES 2020, but this goes one step beyond the sort of partnerships we're used to. With both of these manufacturers, Alexa tech is being used in a new way: controlling vehicle functions.
Jeep to unveil three plug-in hybrid 4x4s at CES
“4xe” badge will designate Jeep’s hybrid and electric offerings.Both the Compass and Renegade will use a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and electric motor for the front wheels and a separate, independent electric motor powering the rears. So far, there are no available details on the hybrid Wrangler’s powertrain; that info will trickle out at the Geneva, New York, and Beijing shows. Jeep has announced, however, that all electrified Jeep vehicles will wear a new Jeep “4xe” badge. Jeep says the hybridization will increase vehicle efficiency, torque, responsiveness, and the overall fun of the Jeep driving experience without any compromises.
Whether you're in the Rivian R1T electric pickup truck or the Lamborghini Huracan sports car, you can use Alexa to do things like adjust the cabin temperature, play music or get directions to a point of interest. Of course, that's in addition to all the usual Alexa features, like making calls and linking to your various connected smart home devices.
We have to imagine this sort of Alexa integration will quickly spread across the auto industry, especially as more companies work to bring better voice-recognition tech into their new cars.
BMW ZeroG Lounger seat
There's nothing like a good, comfy seat on a long road trip, and BMW thinks it's about to launch the next best thing in this space.
Called the , this new chair can recline either 40 or 60 degrees, but the seatbelt moves along with the passenger. The seat's super safe, too. There's a cocoon-style airbag that deploys in the event of a crash. When the seat is reclined, a screen drops down from the headliner and can show directional information, which combined with the position of the seat, can prevent motion sickness.
Aston Martin and Gentex show off tri-camera rearview mirror system for CES
It'll be implemented on future Aston Martin vehiclesThis tri-camera mirror system is similar to other camera mirror systems on the market today, but there’s a twist. Instead of the whole rearview mirror being one big screen, there are two smaller screens flanking the center display. These two additional screens display a feed from cameras on the car’s two side mirrors. Camera side view mirrors already exist in some cars like the Audi E-Tron and Lexus ES in other markets, but the integration is different. Instead of replacing the side mirrors with tiny camera modules, Aston Martin is keeping the mirrors and simply adding a single camera to each one.
This isn't just conceptual tech, either. BMW says this is scheduled to go into production in the next few years, with the first application likely being the X7 SUV.
Continental and Sennheiser speakerless audio system
In the future, you won't need speakers to hear sound. Well, kind of. Automotive supplier, with the help of the audio experts at Sennheiser, have developed a new sound system that .
Using Continental's Ac2uated Sound system, special actuators vibrate interior components like the dashboard, A-pillars, door panels and even the car's headliner to produce sound. The effect is an immense surround-sound experience, and Continental says that without conventional speakers onboard, this helps reduce a vehicle's overall weight.
It's unclear if any automakers are interested in this technology, and Continental hasn't revealed any plans to put this conceptual system into production. Pretty cool, though, huh?
Byton in-car entertainment partnerships
We're pretty familiar with the Byton M-Byte at this point. The electric SUV at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year, and we took a few months before that. At CES 2020, Byton's M-Byte greeted potential US customers for the first time, and showed a new partnership to to the car's massive, 48-inch screen.
ViacomCBS, Accuweather, Aiqudo and other companies will bring their content and services to the Byton M-Byte when it eventually goes on sale in 2021. (Editors' note: Roadshow is owned by ViacomCBS.) You'll be able to stream different TV shows from the ViacomCBS network, which sounds like a perfect way to kill the time while you're waiting for the M-Byte to charge.
Hey, if cars are going to have 48-inch screens, we might as well put them to good use. Let's just hope Byton also puts the necessary precautions in place to make sure people aren't trying to watch their favorite TV show while out on the open road.
The best automotive tech at CES 2020 .
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