See the top in-car technologies you'll be buying soon
Cooley On Cars
CES 2020 was a really interesting show for the future of cabin tech, and the tangible future.
I'm gonna take you for a quick blast around why it's gonna be very different to open the doors, sit down in your car just a few years from now.
Now this [INAUDIBLE]
part of the car has been reimagined with technology.
There's one part you probably forgot that's usually flipped up, the visor.
These things are dumb as a post.
But not for long, Bosch has something called the virtual visor.
It's a piece of grayscale LCD.
But instead of showing text, or characters, or video like you'd expect, it darkens or lightens by watching your face with a camera.
This image processing, there's two or three things.
First of all, where's my face?
Where are my eyes?
And also, where's the sun hitting my face.
The blue is tracking my face.
The black dots are tracking where the sun's hitting my face.
It therefore will address these darkening cells on the LCD panel to make sure it's only blocking the part where the sun's coming in.
What's the big benefit?
I don't miss traffic signals anymore, street signs, I don't have occluded vision.
It's that thing we've gotten used to in a car, but once you can have a clear view and sun blocking, You realize we've been blinded half the time.
This is not going into production anytime soon.
They're talking to some commercial and passenger car vendors and automakers, we'll let you know when we hear more about it coming to market.
General Motors, Lamborghini, and Rivian, the red hot electric pickup truck start up, are showing how there's an appetite among car makers to announce that they'll have Alexa built into their vehicles.
This is different then bringing your phone or buying one of Amazon's Alexa auto add-ons.
It's integrated elegantly, but it also this way can have some access to vehicle systems.
That's what's so interesting.
The Alexa in this car, for example, can control anything, that is part of the body control module, the little computer that operates things like popping open the front or the tail gate or the pass through door or the climate control, Alexa.
Set the cabin to 72 degrees.
Degree set to to 72.
Now, obviously Alexa can't do things like control drive systems like set the cruise control.
That's touching, probably gets into regulatory arenas.
But this is a nice step forward is something that I was puzzled by, which is why would you need.
An add on aftermarket Alexa in your car compared to using your phone.
This takes it a step forward.
That answers the question.
The Chrysler and BMW will be offering built in Amazon Fire TV, like the old minivan backseat systems of your but no discs.
I'm still not sure how it's dramatically better than just using your phone or tablet.
[MUSIC.] Now later in 2020 Exxon Mobil's cut a deal with Amazon to have Alexa pay for gas.
Here's how it's going to work.
You've got the Alexa app on your phone or it's built in to one of these cars that has it.
As you drive up to the gas station, geolocation technology figures out what gas station you're at, and if it's one of Exxon Mobil's.
Then you tell Alexa pay for gas at a given pump number, here it's pump number one.
Then you grab your pump handle the old fashioned way.
And you also select the grade of fuel the old fashioned way.
Fill the car up, once it's done, this signals the app and the network that you're done and then does the charging and payments.
Now all of this is maybe not dramatically easier than using a swipe or a dip on a card.
But it's dramatically better for Amazon, cuz it puts another purchase cycle into their dataset.
Now, you've got a great place for media here.
Look at this screen.
This is the class leading video immersion vehicle on Earth right now.
That is an enormous piece of contiguous display, of exceptionally high quality as you can see, but what's really interesting here They've got this deal with our parent company, Viacom, CBS, but I'd be here talking about it even if it wasn't us.
So what you can do is you can click on an icon, that will take you into this collection of branded content.
You can use gesture control, that's it.
This sensor is up here.
I'm good using the touchscreen, which is right here in the middle of the steering wheel.
But notice, of course.
It doesn't turn with the wheel because the controller that keeps reorienting is disorienting.
What you can do is use standard finger tracking, find the content you want to watch, and then when you get there, you just tap on it and it starts to play.
On the best screen, you may own.
Now this kind of a function and a number of others you see right here, are locked out when you're driving.
Obviously they're not saying you're gonna watch this while you're going down the road.
You've got two different planes of functionality here.
Driving and non driving.
Now unless you're a car industry geek like I am, you may not know that Samsung is a major hitter in automotive technology.
Partly because they recently acquired Harmo.n Harmon is a major provider of automotive tech electronics and all kinds of systems both in Gavin and elsewhere around the car.
Too many players in the auto industry.
So now we're starting to see some fruition of how Harmon tech and Samsung Electronics and a 360 in our lives come together.
This vehicle is representing how Samsung wants to take that tech connected with 5g and lots of cameras to make a new cabinet experience.
Just a few quick examples.
This upholstery can actually give me warnings about a blind spot.
Construction ahead or some wavy lines, they're trying to get my attention if I'm drowsy.
Now Samsung has a thing or two about cameras, but these aren't the kind you have on the back of your phone.
Here's a driver monitoring camera on the wheel.
not totally new in the industry, but it shows you that this is getting more and more common as it watches my state and with facial recognition.
Can tell if I'm alert or maybe I've not alert off the wheel or worse and make things happen in the vehicle that go along with that state.
Continuing with the cameras over here and there's one over on that side, this is where the industry is going in terms of sideview mirrors.
No mirrors at all side these cameras.
Notice how they've placed it contextually, almost exactly where you expect a mirror to be, to take advantage of generations of muscle memory for how we drive.
This is not yet approved in the US, but I can tell you as of early 2020, the feds are starting to open up public comment and lots of input on how this should be implemented.
It is not that far away.
And of course, the part that's harder to actually see is the 5G built into this.
5G may sound like just better 4G, but without 5G vehicles can't do the kinds of multi system communications to the cloud to vehicles around them parking lots gas stations, pedestrians bicycles, that are gonna make them living breathing organisms in a mess.
We're talking about really improving efficiency of transportation and safety of it.
By the way, 5G is very clearly becoming the technology the auto industry will use for vehicle to everything communications, that was a big cloud for the last couple of years.
Now as we enter 2020, 5G is pretty clearly the winner and the industry can move on and make a lot of this happen.
Over here and now they've sat me down on a car that you would think has lots of speakers.
I see speaker grills all over, but those aren't the speakers.
It has lots of speakers but you can't see them.
Instead, many of the panels inside and around me are the speakers, continental calls this actuated it's their trade name for sound where they use transducers to turn panels that are already part of the vehicle.
Into sound speakers as well as whatever else that panel does, whether it's an a pillar garnish or a dashboard, Trump, maybe it's the firewall sheet metal or the headliner.
They all have different sort of tonalities and can be used for different parts of the sound spectrum.
This has all kinds of interesting benefits, first of all designers can do what they want, and then you can make things speakers without having to leave pockets for speakers, the interior designers would love that.
Then there's weight, continental says the high end audience system in a premium car could be 80 plus pounds of gear, a lot of that is putting in discrete dedicated speakers, but if you're using Components that are already here, maybe not adding a whole lot of weight.
And they're partnered here with Sennheiser, they do something called AMBEO 3D sound technology.
That's the processing the algorithms that gets us all the sound right cuz turning a dashboard into a speaker or a headliner is a different audio tuning art We've been tuning cones forever.
But this is a whole different thing.
Xperi is a company we've explored before for it's HD radio and emerging DTS connected radio tech.
But now it reaches beyond radio launching a driver and occupant monitoring system.
To make sure the driver is focused and awake, that's not a new trend, but interestingly to also identify the vehicle's occupants via their biometric signature and detect how they're moving in and interacting with the cabin, which I could imagine powering adaptive cabin in the near future.
[UNKNOWN] says some part of this tech will emerge soon with an unnamed German company.
Many of you may know from my previous coverage of in car technology that when I have been in a car that has early gesture control, there's really only one gesture I want to make.
And I can't do it on the scene that video.
Ultimately is trying to take care of that.
This is gesture control, with haptics in the air, ultra haptics and Leap Motion.
So right here is a leap motion tracker for gesture, and these black pads on either side, or a driver and passenger ultrasound generator to give me the haptics inches above them in the air.
The idea is that traditional gesture requires so much visual workload to confirm that your gesture is working.
Taking your eyes off of the road or at least taking your mind off the task.
Instead, here we use little haptics.
It says yes, you're engaged and what you want is working.
The volume is going up, the map is zooming in and out, whatever it may be.
This is a key understanding of how in car gesture has been failing so far, at least in my opinion.
You to activate the system you hold your hand over it kind of with your fingers pinch together and that engages.
Then move your hand up, down left or right on this compass to select a function.
You move your hands more to adjust that function.
Similar gestures can be used to move in and out on the map.
And this of course can be mapped to anything in the car that uses a button.
What you can't see is that as I do these gestures, I feel them happening even though my hand is in mid-air, that's thanks to the ultrasound waves coming out from one of those black panels.
Right now, it's largely a tingle just to let you know that you are engaged in the system but they'll be making that much more discrete and unique.
You've heard the acronym everyone's excited about in cars these days autonomous, connected, electric, all major trends, but I want to add an I in there.
I'm just as excited about interiors.
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