CES 2023: Showstopping automotive technology

23 January 2023

CES 2023

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) shines a spotlight on technological innovations. Autovista24 deputy editor Tom Geggus reviews this year’s automotive showstoppers.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) confirmed CES 2023 hosted over 3,200 exhibitors, with an expectation-shattering turnout of some 115,000 attendees. These technology enthusiasts witnessed the unveiling of brand-new consumer goods such as televisions, fridge freezers and robot dogs.

‘CES 2023 was the great reconnection and rocked by every measure – from attendance to the keynote stage to press conferences and product debuts on the exhibit floor – showing the entire world that in-person events are back,’ said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CTA.

However, as part of a growing trend, automotive developments drew a lot of attention at this year’s show. These included electric-vehicle (EV) concepts, infotainment systems, and autonomous technology.

Electric concepts

Some of the biggest keynotes from CES 2023 were dedicated to EV concepts. BMW rolled out the i Vision Dee, an emotional, colour-changing companion. The carmaker illustrated its vision for the future by replacing screens with an intelligent voice assistant and an advanced head-up display (HUD).

‘With the BMW i Vision Dee, we are showcasing what is possible when hardware and software merge. In this way, we are able to exploit the full potential of digitalisation to transform the car into an intelligent companion,’ said Oliver Zipse, BMW’s chairman of the board of management.

Stellantis unveiled Peugeot’s Inception concept. Using the STLA Large platform, the glass-covered concept car can reportedly travel 800km on a single charge. The automotive giant also brought Ram’s 1500 Revolution battery-electric vehicle (BEV) concept to CES 2023.

‘You will see how we are bringing propulsion that is electrified and emission-free, how our software is making mobility easier and safer, and how sustainability is rooted in all our decisions,’ said Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares.

Sony Honda Mobility (SHM) revealed its new brand Afeela, alongside a concept car. Reports have indicated that because of the software-defined nature of the vehicle, leasing contracts for it could stretch to ten years.

Infrastructure innovations

Mercedes-Benz did not display a new car at CES 2023, but instead introduced a new infrastructure offering. The manufacturer wants to establish 10,000 high-power chargers across the world, including North America, Europe, and China.

‘Our customers deserve a compelling charging experience that makes electric-vehicle ownership and long-distance travel effortless. We will not take a wait-and-see approach for this to be built,’ said Ola Källenius, chairman of the board of management of Mercedes-Benz Group. ‘That is why we are launching a global high-end charging network. It is designed to become another differentiator of Mercedes-Benz ownership for our customers and an asset with value creation potential for our company.’

Meanwhile, Blink unveiled five new charging solutions at CES 2023, including infrastructure with a 55-inch LCD screen, a smart charging cable, and a 30kW DC fast charger. ‘With the launch of these new state-of-the-art products, Blink is expanding our offerings to meet the needs of customers across the entire EV ecosystem as adoption accelerates around the world,’ said Michael Farkas, chairman and CEO of Blink Charging.

Software and shuttles

The advance of software-defined vehicles (SDVs) was also apparent at this year’s show. Qualcomm Technologies unveiled a new concept vehicle to showcase how the Snapdragon Digital Chassis can integrate technology from different companies to deliver a more personalised, intuitive, and immersive experience.

Many automotive companies also confirmed a more cautionary approach to ‘self-driving’ vehicles, instead choosing to focus on advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). But this did not mean higher levels of autonomy were absent from this year’s show.

Shuttles from the likes of ZF and Holon illustrated where the technology is more likely to develop in the near future. The Indy Autonomy Challenge (IAC) also returned to CES to demonstrate what ‘self-driving’ cars are capable of on an open racing circuit.