Driving innovation through CES

Planes, claims and automobiles are all the road-rage at CES

“Hey Alexa, book me a flying Uber …”

The roundabout of hype that is CES changed up a gear this week with a fleet of vehicles and tech aimed at turning our heads.

Perhaps the most-dramatic (although hardly “new”) is Bell – the armaments-turned-tech manufacturer – and their Nexus flying car, which Uber are showing a keen interest in. The helicar uses six tilting fans to take-off, land and glide you effortlessly to your destination (or the nearest helicar hub to it). Uber are claiming it would cost no more than a normal Uber – though they didn’t comment on surge-pricing.

Not to be out-shone, Mercedes flashed their shiny Urbanetic bubble car concept… pretty out-there in looks, it would be right at home in one of Elon’s tunnels.

But who needs flying cars, when cars can walk? Hyundai strolled into the parking lot with their Elevate a four legged(?) search-and-rescue vehicle that can tackle tricky terrain to bring humanitarian aid. (Though we’re not quite sure who rescues it if it should break down!)

Bumping back down to earth, driving assist – where your car trolls you by showing how it is a better driver than you are – is showcased by Toyota’s Guardian which aims to augment safety by predicting accidents and avoiding them (though perhaps we shouldn’t be looking at our mobile phones whilst driving).

From four wheels to two, BMW showed off its self-riding motorcycle, capable of circling and weaving on its own “to assist the rider” – so BMW will have to mend fewer bikes that have been dropped by hapless riders (avoiding distracted Toyota drivers).  Whilst it’s a neat trick, this probably falls into the driver-assist bucket.

Whether any of these will actually ‘take off’ among consumers yet is another matter, though.

Onwards and upwards… “Heli-TAXIIII!”

By: Simon Stokes

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