In Depth

CES 2019 motoring news: Hyundai Elevate, Audi VR, Byton M-Byte and more

Four-legged vehicles and in-car cinemas take centre stage at the first major tech show of the year

Giants from the world of motoring and tech are teaming up to unveil their latest creations at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week. 

The annual tech extravaganza has become a popular event for carmakers to demonstrate futuristic concepts and cutting-edge driving systems, and this year has proven no exception.

Motoring giants Hyundai and Audi are showcasing concept vehicle and services that may one day find their way into production, and more exciting unveilings are expected before CES closes its doors on Friday.

Here are all the biggest announcements from the motoring world so far at the show: 

Audi teams up with Disney
Audi e-tron

Audi turns the car into a virtual reality experience platform at CES and presents a technology that adopts virtual content to the movements of a vehicle in real time.

AUDI AG

In one of the more obscure collaborations of CES 2019, Audi has teamed up with Disney to deliver an overhauled version of its in-car entertainment system. 

The German car giant is offering show attendees backseat rides in its new all-electric E-Tron SUV. What sets the experience apart is that passengers are required to wear a virtual reality headset, says CNet

Once the car is on the move, passengers are given a VR experience tailored to their journey, taking into account the length of the drive and the direction of the vehicle. 

The system was developed by an Audi-backed start-up called Holoride, before the company partnered with Disney to create the moving VR experiences, The Verge adds. 

Although it is not known when the technology will hit the market, the carmaker believes there is a demand for VR and wanted to get “a head start on this new take on in-car entertainment”, the tech site says.

Hyundai’s Elevate emergency vehicle concept

Hyundai has shown off an radical concept car that is unlike anything else the company has produced. 

Called the Elevate, the futuristic concept has been designed to help rescue workers in extreme situations such as natural disasters, Autocar reports.

The vehicle is equipped with four “movable legs” with wheels at the bottom, the magazine says. This makes it easier for the vehicle to traverse challenging terrain or move through severely flooded areas.

It’s an “outlandish” design, though Hyundai should be praised for “thinking about new ways to build vehicles”, adds Wired

In-wheel touchscreens

Most modern cars come with some form of touchscreen infotainment system nestled in the centre console. However, Chinese start-up Byton may be offering the first in-steering-wheel screens in the business when its all-electric M-Byte SUV arrives next year.

The 8in touchscreen, which is housed in the futuristic steering wheel, allows drivers to operate a 40in digital panel that covers almost the entire width of the dashboard, says Engadget

Not only can the touchscreen be used to control the infotainment and climate control settings, it can also display video from the car’s reversing camera, says Autocar. Occupants can use Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant to control the system as well.

Byton’s M-Byte is expected to hit showrooms in 2020.

The ‘self-aware’ car debuts

Driverless cars are all the rage in the motoring world, with most of the major players developing self-driving technology that may end up in production models. 

UK-based tech giant Delphi is collaborating with major car manufacturers to create such systems and is already working on a vehicle that its creators hope will take driverless cars to the next level. 

Now, the company has unveiled its first “self-aware” car at CES, The Daily Telegraph says. The vehicle can not only monitor traffic lights and other cars around it but also adjusts routes to help conserve fuel and reduce congestion. 

Although semi-autonomous vehicles are capable of handling many of these operations, Delphi says only its prototype vehicle can manage all of these tasks at once. 

However, Delphi’s technical chief, Mary Gustanski, insists the driver is in control of the vehicle at all times. The “self-aware” system is designed to assist the driver through small throttle and steering inputs, she told the newspaper.

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