Autonomous vehicles have taken center stage at CES 2017 in Las Vegas this past weekend.
Formally known as the Consumer Electronics Show, CES is the largest technology trade show in the United States and takes place every January. As autonomous vehicle technologies have become increasingly common over the last few years the presence of AVs has increased at CES, culminating in multiple product releases at this year’s show.
One of the most anticipated releases came from California-based auto startup Faraday Future, which has been in the news over the last few months for issues with construction of a $1 billion factory in Nevada and the resignation of multiple high-level executives.
Faraday Future finally unveiled its first car, the four-door, luxury FF91. The FF91 is intended to have some autonomous features reminiscent of electric vehicle competitor Tesla, such as automatic parking and the hardware to eventually be fully self-driving. It is also significant as the quickest production car in history, accelerating from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a record 2.39 seconds.
Nissan also made a splash by showcasing plans for autonomous vehicles, announcing its vision for the process of approaching full autonomy through the Seamless Autonomous Mobility system.
The project was project-developed with NASA based on the system used on satellites and interplanetary spacecraft to assist robots.
The idea is based off the assumption that an autonomous vehicle capable of 99.9 percent of driving without human intervention will still occasionally come across a situation requiring human intervention. Nissan’s solution is to allow a human in a “call center” to temporarily take control of a vehicle to navigate through confusing environments, like the scene of an accident or a broken traffic signal.
Many other companies also released AV-related technologies at CES 2017. Toyota unveiled a concept car, called Concept-i, that lays out Toyota’s prediction for an automobile as they will exist in 2030.
Silicon Valley startup Quanenergy announced a solid-state LIDAR system, one of the first LIDAR sensors to function with no moving parts, which is expected to decrease the cost and increase the reliability of an important and common AV sensor.
As one of the hottest trends in tech right now, AVs were expected to steal the show at CES.
These companies and many others that also released products or concepts last week are leading the way for autonomous vehicles to hit the road in the next few years.