I (Erik here) have never been to Las Vegas, which I'm told is both kind of exhilarating in addition to being extremely bleak. Strangely, I've been told the same thing about CES, which I'll be in Vegas to cover this year. Here's the car stuff I'm excited about!
CES used to be called the Consumer Electronics Show but now is just called CES, with letters that don't stand for anything. This is in part because the scope of the show has expanded so considerably since the first CES was held 50 years ago in New York City.
In recent years, CES has become a car show, in some ways even eclipsing the Detroit Auto Show as car companies seek to show off new technologies like electrification, autonomy and infotainment systems.
That stuff is what Ryan Felton and I will be focused on next week. In no particular order, here's some of the things we're jazzed to see:
Byton, which is pronounced "bite-on," will be introducing their first drivable prototype at CES. We've already gotten roughly 68 emails from various PR people hyping it. Everyone's excited, including us. Here's a photo of the car, sent by one of those PR people:
Screens! All the screens. - ES
What, exactly, Faraday Future - which has struggled mightily to raise any funding to push ahead with its plan to build a Tesla-killing EV - intends to do at CES is a bit of a mystery. An invite went out last week for a possible event on Jan 9, but little's known about what'll be shown. It's hard to imagine the company's going to roll out its flagship vehicle, the FF 91, once more. But getting a better sense of what Faraday's trying to do, after such a tumultuous year, is something I'm eager to figure out. - RF
Nissan And Brain Driving
So Nissan's apparently going to have a simulator at CES that, in theory, will allow you to sit down at the wheel, pop on a skullcap like the one you see above, and let our brains do the driving. Nissan calls it brain-to-vehicle technology; I'll call it a tad bit damn unnerving. - RF
Rinspeed's known for over-the-top car concepts, but this is less of a car and more of a movable Unit. It's called the Snap, and when it's not in transit, a pod can be snapped off from the skateboard and become a place to relax. Rinspeed calls it a "cosy cuddling pod" or a "spacious camping pod." I'm just looking forward to seeing it. - RF
The Breathless Chatter
There's several panels organised to discuss The Future Of Driving, and what that means is a parade of Tech People are going to bestow upon us their great wisdom on how to make the Cities Of The Future. Autonomous! Electric! It's happening! Now! What this likely won't include is any dosage of reality to ground these optimistic folks and help them understand that it's going to take a lot of damn work to make this sort of transformation an actual thing. Can't wait. - RF
Ford CEO Jim Hackett
I might be the only person in the world who is excited for Jim Hackett, the CEO of Ford, but, by gosh, I'm excited for Jim Hackett. Hackett is giving a speech on Tuesday that will "focus on the development of mobility solutions as the world progresses toward smarter cities." Translated into English, that means he'll talk about *something* *something* "self-driving" *something* "electric" *something*. Humans will always be our best technology. - ES
That's it! That's all we're excited to see. The rest of CES can buzz off. If you need us otherwise, we'll be at the poker tables. Hopefully, we'll survive. Ryan said that last year he was violently ill throughout the whole experience, which is no way to spend a few days in Vegas. If you find us, make sure to say hi. We're nice! Honestly.