Vehicles dominated this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), an annual trade show in Las Vegas in which the tech industry shows off their forthcoming developments. Fatigue technology, in-car artificial intelligence (AI) and of course, autonomous vehicles were hot topics and while we’re not quite developing flying cars, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s not far off.
Whether your day job is behind the wheel or behind a desk, there’s plenty to get excited about. Here are some of the big takeaways from CES and what they could mean for your business.
Autonomous Vehicles Are Here
This year marked the first-time truck manufacturers exhibited at CES. With the promise to put autonomous vehicles into production as soon as 2021, the number one questions were: when are self-driving trucks coming? What will this mean for my business? TuSimple, a Chinese manufacturer, unveiled its Level 4 truck with autonomous technology. The truck can take care of parking, managing speed and braking and has a steering wheel for when drivers need to take back control. As 90 per cent of collisions occur due to human error such as fatigue or distraction, autonomy can potentially reduce these incidents drastically. The vehicle can make sudden decisions, such as braking or swerving rapidly taking evasive action quicker than humans. It also drastically reduces the risk around low visibility, distractions and safe driving distances.
Smarter And Safer Cars
AI is coming to the vehicle’s dashboard. Car manufacturers like Toyota, BMW and Ford revealed plans to offer support for voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa. While at first this might feel like a fun but unnecessary toy, AI-voice control can provide hands free support to truck drivers. Action commands, ETAs, recommended departure times and even vehicle controls such as smart locking or temperature gauges could be accessed while the driver keeps their eyes on the road.
Drone and Electric Delivery
Fuel is one of the biggest costs for a range of industries, making electric vehicles an attractive option. CES showed they may soon become an affordable and efficient option. Not only do electric vehicle’s help you save on fuel, but they’re far more environmentally friendly. Mercedes went a step further and revealed its Vision Van, an electric vehicle with telematics and drones installed, designed to help with deliveries. While heavy vehicles are already ahead of the curve with tracking technology and real-time alerts, the van builds on this with an automated shelving system that attaches to drones, which deliver cargo once in range of their destination. Drivers can make faster deliveries without needing to leave the vehicle.
The Consumer Electronics Show showed us that the future of driving is here and brighter than ever. Technology has the potential to massively improve the working lives of drivers, making your fleet safer, more efficient and more productive.