The great international car shows, Geneva, Detroit, Beijing, New Delhi are glittering opportunities to present new cars and boost – thanks to media coverage – the most important sector of the world economy.
Between dealers, only a few know that in January ALL the carmakers attended in Las Vegas a trade show which represents the future of the technics applied to everyday life: the CES (Consumer Electronic Show).
Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Hyundai, GM, Google presented their fully automated driving cars and journalists and bloggers around the world had the opportunity to drive (… ops, to test) these automobiles.
Few people know that the technology used by Google and the carmakers was born in the US in the 50s, then continued by the University of Munich in the 70s and later completed by a group of precarious researchers of the University of Parma lead by Alberto Broggi, who travelled from Italy to Shanghai with a road convoy of 4 self driving electric vans, in 2008.
It’s fantastic to get down from your Audi just in front of the shopping mall, leave it to go alone searching for parking and – after shopping – call back it at the entrance thanks to an APP.
It’s comfortable to read the newspaper during a gridlock along the highway while your GM is driving by itself, thanks to the “traffic-jam” system.
You can stay serene and secure thanks to the automated Hyundai security systems that 1) automatically maintains the safety distance from the vehicle ahead, 2) never exceeds the line of the edge of the road, 3) brakes in case of emergency. This is why Hyundai out-matched the HIIS award 2015.
Other manufacturers have introduced cars with cockpits without buttons and switches, replaced by voice commands or proximity sensors and “touch-less” displays (13-inch and up) that just with a delicate touch will turn on doors, windows or sunroof and regulate every device of the car, from the dynamic horizon to the remote-controlled laser headlights presented by BMW.
The BYOD allows complete integration between vehicles and smartphones of the driver/passengers, not just to chat, call, surf while you are behind the wheel (some wacky persons does), but to have – thanks to the telematic – the “identity card” of each vehicle, percurred distances, driving styles, fuel consumption, fleet management, paying toll, wear of components, allowing remote diagnosis and “pro-gnostic”.
Safety is the watchword: the Cooperative Safety V2V will be able to act quickly and automatically in case of accidents: in Russia within the “golden hour” (1 hour), in UE and in US within 20 minutes.
In Russia the “telematic box” is mandatory on all cars registered from January 1, 2015. In China, India and in the US will be by 2017. In Europe, the lobby of the “usual” OEM and carmakers managed to slide around 2018.
At CES it has been said that within 5 years, 90% of the vehicles will be connected to the network; I think it will !
I believe this is the future of the automobile, not the “toy-pedal-car”.
Ultra-economy-car that anyway – for who is interested – already exists: I drive tested it in India during the New Delhi Autoshow. It is the “Bajaj RE 60“, built by the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. 4 passengers, 40 Km/liter, 100 grams of CO2 emissions per Km. Structure hybrid metal polymer, water-cooled engine, 4 valves, maximum speed of 70 kilometers per hour.
No power steering, no electric windows, no central locking or other trappings.
It expects to sell tens of millions, mostly to the owners of the three wheelers. Price list? 125,000 Rupees!
Much less than a smartphone!