The Latest New Products Must-See

Bosch's concept car isn't about the car at all

It's about creating a more personalized experience for each driver. And there's a whole ton of new tech shoved in there, too.

Close
Drag

Bosch brought a concept car to CES 2017 -- but the car itself doesn't matter. It's everything inside that counts, just like your mom used to tell you, because that's where Bosch's strengths lie.

Bosch's CES theme is personalizing the Internet of Things so that each person gets the best experience possible. To that end, Bosch's unnamed concept car uses facial recognition technology to change a number of settings to suit driver preferences, including radio station, mirror position and temperature.

The company is also working on a secure platform that uses a mobile phone in lieu of a key, which may be a less expensive way to achieve the same end result.

What's even more sci-fi than the facial recognition is how the user actually manipulates the system. A combination of a haptic touch display and a gesture control system, the latter of which is actually capable of providing tangible feedback, although the company didn't immediately explain how. I'll be testing the car later this week, so I'll get some more in-depth answers then.

The future is egg-shaped. We're nearly there already, in fact.

Bosch

The haptic-feedback gesture control system looks oddly similar to BMW's HoloActive Touch system, which promises a similar system. Bosch's lacks the references to holograms, but given Bosch's position as a popular supplier for German automakers, there may be some Bosch labels tucked away under BMW's dash.

The car also promises eye trackers that pull relevant information forward, depending on where a user's eyes travel. In this case, the goal is preventing drivers from needless distraction. If the car's responsibilities include the button pressing typically reserved for humans, it's one less thing to worry about.

There are a bunch of traditional "concept car" touches, as well. The whole thing is shaped like a weird egg, the side mirrors are now cameras with screens. Screens are everywhere, in fact, because the future is made of screens and we're powerless to resist it. The steering wheel is ridiculous, and everything's covered in wood trim.

But, again, the car itself is not the point. It's the individual parts within this concept that matter. Bosch's whole goal is to utilize the IoT to make everything feel personal, from smart-home accessories to a car that always knows the right music to play.

CES 2017

Our editors bring you complete CES 2017 coverage and scour the showroom floor for the hottest new tech gadgets around.

All CES 2017 Stories