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The most innovative transportation technology from CES 2019

Arity · January 14, 2019 · 5 min read
CES 2019 is in the books and we are excited to highlight some of the most innovative transportation technology we saw at the show.

What a week it was at CES 2019! Now that we are back home in Chicago, we are excited to highlight some of the most innovative transportation technology we saw at the show.

Many reports say that CES has become the world’s biggest auto show, with major players from Ford, to Hyundai, to Harley Davidson and Uber displaying futuristic transportation technology. No longer are companies just seeking to get people from Point A to Point B, but rather creating new experiences and interactions with the world around them along the way.

That said, while automaker Audi’s announcement that it moved into the world of virtual reality and became co-founder of a company called Holoride (which has developed technology that mirrors the movements of a real car in real-time VR) caused a stir, we thought we’d showcase some of the transportation technology that hopes to address public safety and smart use of data.

Here is some of the most innovative transportation technology spotted at CES 2019:

Ford cars are “talking” via cellular vehicle-to-everything

Ford announced that it plans to make its cars “talk” with pedestrians and traffic signals through advanced sensor technology. According to CNN, “The technology, called cellular vehicle-to-everything (or C-V2X for short), uses wireless signals to share road data, such as a car’s location or the color of a traffic light, with other vehicles.”

Ford thinks that the C-V2X technology will help drivers of today be better aware of their surroundings. Eventual hopes are to use the C-V2X technology for autonomous vehicles.

The technology poses many questions around smart city technology and the expense of installing and maintaining networks that could support it, but Ford believes that this is an important step for public safety.

Uber Elevate and Bell Nexus Air Taxi

This flying hybrid of a drone and a helicopter crossed with a taxi made a splash at CES 2019 this year. Bell is a partner of Uber Elevate, and it unveiled its design for what it sees as the future of on-demand air travel. The air taxi is an electric hybrid and is expected to have a range of 150 miles. According to CNET, the concept “shows what the company hopes to build with that experience – a small, consumer-friendly aircraft that comfortably seats four passengers and a pilot.”

Bell is testing this “rideshare in the air” in Dallas, Dubai and Los Angeles, aiming for a widespread release in 2025.

Like all things this revolutionary, there will, of course, be a lot of discussion around safety and regulation of this aircraft. Will collecting data on traffic patterns in the skies be the next frontier? Only time will tell, but this is an innovation to watch.

Hyundai Mobis’ Automotive Lights for Autonomous Vehicles

Hyundai Mobis, the parts, and services arm of car-maker Hyundai, is building a better mousetrap when it comes to safety for autonomous vehicles by using the vehicle’s lights to send signals to communicate the autonomous vehicle’s intent. The goal is to prevent accidents between autonomous vehicles and pedestrians. Hyundai Mobis proposes that the automotive lights will flash when a pedestrian is detected, and the lighting flashes a red warning sign to alert people to not cross the street.

The vehicle would also be able to display crosswalks on the ground, flash countdowns for people to know when the car will move again and signal the direction in which it plans to resume movement.

The idea of using lights to signal intent is nothing new, but this is a fascinating example of taking that use one step further and applying it to autonomous vehicle/human interactions. The use of existing signs and signals that are already familiar to pedestrians reflects the fact that companies are considering the safety of people and not just fueling the growth of the tech.

BONUS: The Breadbot

Ok, you got us… the Breadbot was not exactly transportation tech, but how cool is a vending machine that bakes bread all by itself?!

Created by Wilkinson Baking, the Breadbot can mix, knead, bake and cool up to 235 loaves of bread a day without any human assistance. It’s powered by more than 70 data-gathering sensors that monitor the entire baking process – from water temperature to mixer speed, to a loaf’s humidity and height – more than 100 times per second. The data from the sensors can then adjust the process in real-time—yet another innovation with data at its core!

The best part? The Breadbot can make white, whole-wheat, nine-grain, honey-oat and rye loaves of bread so that carb lovers of all shapes and sizes can satisfy their cravings.

The Breadbot probably broke a lot of New Year’s resolutions this week, but it was arguably the most delicious booth at CES 2019!

In all, it was a busy week for innovative transportation technology and it’s heartening to see that many companies are focusing on the importance of driver and pedestrian safety. As new technologies hit the roads (and even the skies) it will be critical that consumers understand the safety features in place and how data is being used to transform the transportation experience.

Be sure to follow us on the blog and Twitter @Arity for more insights on the future of transportation.

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