CES 2020 gave the automotive industry a lot of food for thought.
Here are my key takeaways.
Automotive’s Mid-Life Crisis
OEMs largely had the automotive industry figured out. But then came electric vehicles.
For years, EVs had been touted as the next disruptive force in automotive. Yet many OEMs at CES still seem to be trying to make sense of how exactly they are going to translate their combustion-age success to the electric era.
If CES was any indication, expect greater clarity to come in 2020 in terms of how OEMs plan to monetize EVs, their parts and even their production. Moreover, expect addition investment in technologies such as “smartglass” and lighter materials that help reduce CO2 emissions and increase EV driving range.
Connected Vehicles Bring the World to You
Connected vehicles are an exciting area. They were a hot topic at CES this year.
Connected vehicles have the potential to bring the world to your doorstep. For example, imagine “on-the-go” mobile doctors’ offices where instead of going to the doctors’ office, a connected vehicle – fully equipped with smartglass that can project images, create private spaces, reduce germs – brings it to you. This is one area of potentially huge disruption beyond just the automotive industry and will be interesting to follow in the years ahead.
The Autonomous Vehicle Experience
Another huge question from CES is what is the occupant experience going to be like within autonomous vehicles?
Simply put, AV users will have time on their hands while they are on the road. They will have time for entertainment, working and even sleeping.
OEMs are trying to decipher the next-gen passenger experience.
Better Displays, Better Retail Experience
Information and entertainment come to us not only in our cars, but our homes, offices and even the shopping mall.
As more shopping moves online, a more enjoyable and productive in-person shopping experience is essential. Several major manufacturers at CES are offering display products for the home, office, retail and exhibition environment that basically allow you technologically to turn a clear window or other piece of glass into a vibrant high-definition television. (Joe Harary, left)
Joe Harary is CEO of Research Frontiers, makers of SPD-SmartGlass that is used by brands such as Mercedes, BMW and McLaren.