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CES: Cars that are solar-powered, talk to each other, and don't need driversThe cars of the future may be able to communicate with each other, drive themselves, and be powered by the sun. CNET's Sumi Das on the concepts and the cars that automakers showed off at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Judging by the cars at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, technology is in the driver's seat and even on car roofs, that's the solar panel. -We're able to fully recharge that battery. We're just using the sun. -This is Ford's C-MAX solar energy concept car. It pairs with a canopy that serves as a magnifying glass. -As the sun traverses the sky, we actually have to keep that focused on the solar panels and the way we do that is we actually use the vehicle autonomously to move. It actually keeps it concentrated on times. -As for drivers in the future, well, they're optional, because driverless vehicles are here. The Navia from Induct is a self-driving all-electric shuttle designed with campuses in mind. -How does the Navia worked? It's similar to an elevator, but instead of punching the floor, you hit the station that you want to go to or the location, hit go and start then sit back and enjoy the ride. -Audi impressed with the preview of its autonomous technology that did hopes to deliver within five years. -And this car on a public highway is able to use its own radar, sonar, forward camera and a new laser, that's invisible laser light to map out the world around it and drive it up to 40 miles an hour doing its own steering, breaking and accelerating. -Another key to making self-driving cars a reality is allowing cars to detect each other and avoid crashes. Ford's vehicle to vehicle communication technology does that using Wi-Fi and GPS signals. -So, I'm driving almost through the intersection and-- As long as the vehicle knows where the other vehicles are, if there's any sort of collision scenario that might be occurring then we can provide a warning. -Mercedes Benz showed how cars can communicate with wearable gadgets such as smartwatches and Google glass. Without doubt, cars are now smarter than ever. For more CES coverage go to CES. CNET.com. In Las Vegas, I'm Sumi Das, CNET for CBS News.