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NowCar 2019 CES Kia Mitsubishi Motors

Coverage of the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show

Written By, Jordan R.

2019 is already off to a fantastic start with the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show already well underway. If not in the know, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a convention geared towards consumer-based products and technology that aims to make human life more entertaining or relaxing. Some of this deals with intuitive technology, and with artificial intelligence on the rise, we’re not surprised to see automakers like Kia Motors and Mitsubishi showcasing some of their own autonomous car tech on the showroom floor.

Kia Motors Designs for the Post-Autonomous World

Kia Motors has technology with a post-autonomous auto market in mind, developing technology strictly for autonomous cars. Still, we think some of this could already be employed. Take their Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving (R.E.A.D.) system for example. Developed through a joint research alliance with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab’s Affective Computing group, R.E.A.D. uses facial recognition technology and artificial intelligence to monitor the driver’s mood. Based on the mood analyzed, the system will then make changes to the interior cabin of the vehicle in an effort to change the driver’s mood in real-time. One would assume this would only happen with negative emotions that may also change driving behavior.

The R.E.A.D. system is actually two-fold. Not only does it come with artificial intelligence designed to enhance the human mobile experience, but it also allows the driver to personalize their cabin with simple commands. Called “V-Touch”, short for “Virtual Touch”, the days of touchscreens, buttons, and knobs are over. With V-Touch, consumers can simply use finger gestures in the air to alter the interior cabin lighting, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning), and entertainment systems. The tech employs the use of a 3D camera to monitor users' eyes and fingertips and then register commands based on the gestures recognized.

Another technology, this one definitely built for a post-autonomous world, comes from the Hyundai Motor Group, owner of Kia Motors. In 2018, Kia Motors developed wireless EV charging platforms that can charge an electric vehicle by using the surrounding electrons in the air. Well, the Hyundai Motor Group is capitalizing on this by designing parking facilities outfitted with these wireless EV charging stations. Drivers can go to these facilities and then use a smartphone app to park and charge their EV. When the charge is complete, the driver’s EV will move to a vacant normal parking spot in the facility to free up space. It’s all a part of what the automotive group is calling an “Automated Valet System”.

Mitsubishi Motors and Mitsubishi Electric

Mitsubishi Motors may not be showing up at 2019 CES, but their sibling corporation Mitsubishi Electric has been designing a lot of technology for their self-driving and autonomous car concepts, along with artificial intelligence. This company means business, starting with an interconnected smart platform that can integrate the features of smart devices into one central hub. For example, if a consumer has two Amazon Alexa smart devices in their home on opposite sides of the house, and this platform from Mitsubishi Electric in their bedroom, this platform is all they need. By enabling the smart appliances to share their networks, sensors, and functionalities, the smart platform can perform their unique home services, even without an internet connection.

On the topic of staying connected, Mitsubishi Electric has also developed a massive interactive surface display available to the rear seat passengers. This system allows passengers to engage in social activity like sharing content, using chat services, and more. Another variation of this technology was also discussed in what some may call “Vehicle Platooning”. Using autonomous self-driving technology, a group of cars can line up and drive to a destination. During this time, all cars in the platoon may also be connected wirelessly, allowing passengers to chat, share music, etc. It’s like having a party in one lane.

Lastly, with facial recognition technology also on the rise, Mitsubishi Electric designed a similar system. Using artificial intelligence and facial recognition, drivers can lock the vehicle, start the vehicle, and perform other functions with simple commands. Mitsubishi Electric is connecting everyone to their cars and their homes in a virtual world.

Flying Cars

We can’t help it, flying cars will always find a way into coverage of an auto show. Like the Blackfly, the Airbus, and so many other flying car startups, Nexus also debuted their own air taxi, the Bell Nexus. Just look at that computer-generated concept. Hopefully they also employ pilot programs for whoever is brave enough to let a complete stranger fly them. Hey, airline pilots already do it!

A lot is coming to the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, and it’s just begun. Follow us on NowCar social media for more.

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