It’s no secret that carmakers are accepting that the world is going electric. EVs (electric vehicles) have started to hit the road for a while now and several companies are even experimenting with intelligent, self-driving models. At the Mobile World Congress 2018, however, the world was shown just how many companies are looking for a share of the self-driving EV market. Indeed, moving from hall to hall, we got a taste of the extent to which these companies have been advancing this technology. #automagic
Here’s a list of 7 cars or automobile related tech we saw that are pushing the boundaries of EV tech:
1. SK Telecom, South Korea’s largest mobile provider, brought forward its 5G self-driving car. They used the opportunity to put on display their advancements in 3D HD mapping and cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) communications.
2. Intel showed off the first successful multi-vendor 5G-connected Toyota car trial at their booth. The company’s Road Experience Management (REM) system connects to a Mobileye camera and interprets the environment around the car, potentially enabling real-time mapping for a driverless fleet in the near future. Fun fact: Intel is partnering up with NTT DoCoMo to offer 5G coverage and 360-degree 8K video streams at the 2020 Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo.
3 & 4. Mercedes had one of the biggest booths at the event, showcasing both an autonomous car as well as augmented reality (AR) technology for an A-Class vehicle. As you can imagine, the Smart Vision EQ fortwo was our favorite of the two. The tiny vehicle sported a black panel grille and LED displays instead of headlamps and tail lamps with intermittent welcome messages. There were no steering wheel and pedals in sight. The side windows, though, serve to project info from the interior.
The A-Class boasted the MBUX, which will enter series production this year. The car was imagined with a high-res, touchscreen cockpit, an AR navigation panel, and a smart assistant which wakes up at the vocal command: “Hey Mercedes”.
5. Audi didn’t disappoint, either. The carmaker had on display A8, the first production vehicle with Level 3 autonomy. Expect touchscreens and massage seats as well, bring the futuristic interior to match its exterior.
6. Maserati didn’t bring a prototype to the table. Instead, the carmaker teamed up with Idemia and Omoove to show an alternative way of opening the car’s doors by using facial recognition. A selfie as a key? There’s an idea!
7. Finally, Formula 1! Their racing cars didn’t shock with a new form factor. Instead, new services and technologies made headlines. Formula 1 will starts a new streaming service, ad-free, called F1 TV. This will take footage from pilots’ on-board cameras, giving viewers the freedom to arrange the feeds as they like on their devices. There was also talk of biometric gloves for drivers.