As CES 2020 comes to an end in Las Vegas, we are still so inspired by all the new concepts, products, and innovations we saw. Our team is excited about a restful weekend ahead, but even more excited for the upcoming year after seeing everything CES and the exhibitors had to offer.

Now without further ado, here is the very best of CES 2020 (in no particular order):

Amazon Alexa’s Vehicle Takeover:

After this year’s CES show, it seems there’s no place Alexa can’t go?. We have seen multiple OEM’s announce that their new 2020/21 models will have basic Alexa functionality, if not full integration. We all know about the traditional functions you can do with Alexa in vehicles such as making calls hands-free or playing music, but with full integration it seems the possibilities go far beyond just these functions. Here are some of the best Alexa Innovations we saw this year: 

1. A big talking point this week was Amazon’s partnership with Lamborghini. Amazon Alexa will be available in the Huracan Evo, and with the integration shown at CES you will be able to adjust the interior lighting, climate control, and heated seat settings, all with voice commands. The announcements didn’t stop there however – with full Alexa integration, drivers will be able to connect with and control other connected devices like garage doors, entry gates, lights, and even home thermostats, all directly from your vehicle.

2. Rivian is another OEM who is taking Alexa a step further than just your traditional in-car voice commands. In their all-electric R1T pick-up truck and R1S SUV you will be able to control the in-car climate, open the trunk, roll the windows up/down, and control at-home connected devices such as lights or thermostats. Another feature announced with the R1T pick-up truck is being able to access the truck’s bed camera through your Echo Show or Fire TV so you can keep track of your belongings even when away from your vehicle.

3. Perhaps one of the biggest innovation announcements from Amazon came through their new in-car payment partnerships with Exxon and Mobil. Coming this year to 11,500 Exxon and Mobil stations, customers will be able to simply say: “Alexa, pay for gas”, no going in to pay or card swiping required. Partnering with Fiserv, a player in financial services technology, the transaction will take place through Amazon Pay where the transactions will be fully encrypted to ensure safe payment.  

Bosch turns heads with their new Virtual Sun Visor: 

Have you ever been blinded by the sun while driving? Of course. Or have trouble seeing traffic lights change due to your sun visor being down? Yes again. Well Bosch has too, and this year we felt this was one of the stand-out innovators, bringing new solutions to something that has been around for decades. Their new Virtual Visor attempts to tackle the issues of traditional sun visors using a clear LCD panel with a camera facing the driver, integrated with AI technology. Through the camera and AI software it can detect where the driver’s eyes are and block out bright glare or sunlight without obstructing the drivers view of the road or things like street lights. While the visor is down, it will track your eye movement as you adjust or move your head to constantly keep the sun at bay, while the rest of the visor remains completely transparent.

New autonomy innovations taking us closer to full self-driving:

Highways offer autonomous vehicles a predictable environment in which to learn and operate, the more difficult task is having them navigate through congested inner-city areas. Between all the potential variables such as bikes, pedestrians, and tight streets, some new tech showcased this year at CES could bring us closer to seeing self-driving vehicles ?become a reality. 
Metawave is one company in the self-driving space showcasing its innovative radar at CES 2020. Their Beamsteering Radar SPEKTRA, is a long-range radar platform with the capabilities to identify vehicles over 300 meters away and pedestrians over 200 meters away. These long-range sensing technologies are critical to achieving automated driving by allowing the vehicle to identify, anticipate, and react to obstacles or obstructions before it is too late. The radar platform is able to operate in tough driving environments such as thick fog, heavy rain, even sandstorms, all without losing range.

SBD Insight: Redundancy is vital to ensure the safe operation of autonomous vehicles. We are seeing vehicles outfitted with multiple sensor types, each of these becoming more and more capable. The cost to implement such redundancies is still prohibitively high for mass production vehicles. The benefits of such sensor advancements, as seen with Metawave, will likely be first realized in ADAS applications and small-scale testing/trials.

Safety and Preventative Maintenance Trends, a great sign for 2020 and beyond:

We saw plenty of new innovations and products to help improve the overall driver experience and safety at this year’s show. While vehicle safety is always a top priority in the automotive industry, preventative maintenance solutions work together with these safety features to make sure the driver and passengers are always protected. Here are a few of the new products we can’t wait to see become the norm:

1. Bridgestone attended CES for the very first time this year and brought with them a new connected tire to better support current ADAS platforms. Their new connected tire concept brings with it much more than just air pressure monitoring; this tire Bridgestone claims will actually be able to sense and track the friction between the tire and the road allowing it to track tire wear and tread. It doesn’t just stop there- their concept tire will also be able to sense elements of the road such as potholes and if partnered with the Department of Transportation could send info directly to them, which could help identify what roads may need repair/patching soon.

2. UVeye really stole the show this year with their vehicle sensing technology that can completely scan a vehicle in about 4 seconds to detect most types of defects or leaks. UVeye has only been in operation for a couple years but they are really making a name for themselves with this new smart-machine vehicle inspection service. The AI based system will scan the vehicle’s underbody, tires, and body frame, in just seconds and will alert of any dents as small as 0.08 of an inch (~2 mm). It can also scan for any type of fluid leak, check tire pressure, tire tread wear, and even perform predictive maintenance by discovering signals to early part failures. 

3. A new form of ‘smart helmet’ was also on display at CES this year from French start-up Tali Connected. The helmet, designed for motorcycle riders, can do much more than just protect the rider. The helmet features LED lights integrated into the back, which improves visibility from other drivers, especially at night, but also will reflect rear brake-lights and turn signals. Tali’s smart helmet can also be integrated with voice assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa, which will allow the rider to make phone calls, play music, and even will read off GPS directions. Coupled with their app that is still in development, the helmet will also be able to detect when a fall or crash has occurred and can alert the authorities in real-time with the exact location of the rider. Tali Connected is expected to bring the helmet to market either late this year or early 2021.

Thanks so much for tuning in with us this year at CES and don’t forget to sign-up for our CES 2020 Flash Report. This complimentary report will cover highlights and overviews while our full 200+ page event report will cover OEMs, suppliers, start-ups, and more in full detail.