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CES 2019: What you could soon be driving, riding, even flying

Tech and Innovation

Posted on January 14, 2019

4 min read

How we get around will very soon fundamentally change in a number of ways, and we’re not just talking on the road – it’s in the air and the water too. Your home and work are also set for further shake-ups as robotics technology continues to advance.

Last week in CES, the world’s biggest consumer technology show, the vehicles and robots of the future were unveiled.

They all had different purposes but one thing was the same in all of them – they were connected and 5G will play a major part in powering these new technologies at scale.

Riding into a connected, electric future

When the iconic Hog goes electric, you know it’s a road revolution.

At CES 2019, Harley-Davidson announced it has started taking pre-orders for the LiveWire, its all-electric motorcycle.

The bike will go from 0 to nearly 100 km/h in around 3.5 seconds, with 100 percent of the motor torque available instantly. Unlike regular motorbikes, there’s no clutch or gear shifting – it’s just twist and go – and the famous Harley road roar has been replaced by more of a “zoom” sound.

It also comes with a host of connected features and an app, giving you the ability to check your battery charge remotely and get an alert if someone’s tampering with your ride.

Flying taxis: closer than you might think

You couldn’t miss Bell Air Taxi’s hybrid-electric flying car at CES. Using six tilting ducted fans, it’s designed to take off and land vertically from a rooftop or launch pad.

Initially capable of carrying four passengers and a pilot, the plan is to eventually make them autonomous (self-driving).

The military aircraft manufacturer has partnered with Uber and plans to roll out these air taxis to cities by the “mid-2020s.”

Never leave home, even on the road

When it comes to the cars of the future, dashboards could be replaced by mega touch screens and remain connected to your home, even when you’re out and about.

We’ve all probably been in this situation: you get home and you’re hungry only to find you’re out of bread or that key ingredient. Samsung’s connected car concept at CES allows to you to check what you have at home via their smart fridge so you know whether you need to stop at the shops on the way home.

Meantime, Chinese EV start-up Byton has unveiled an electric car full of screens, including a huge 49-inch screen that spans the entire width of the windshield.

That’s just one of five touch screens, that can show maps, car telematics and entertainment, when in autonomous driving mode of course.

Smart boats making waves

A yacht launched at CES for the first time this year.

The 78-foot Adonis concept by Furrion comes with its own “virtual concierge” voice and facial recognition system, called Angel. As well as allowing you to control the vessel’s lights, blinds, media and climate, she can even deliver an order to the kitchen (because you’ll have your own chef on board, of course!), including reminding them of any dietary restrictions you may have.

Angel is so intuitive, she can even monitor your weight and skin moisture levels (time to hydrate, cool down and swim off some calories).

Robots providing assistance and comfort

There were more than 344 robotics exhibitors this year as a future where robot assistants are common continually comes closer to reality.

This year, they were showcasing assistants that lift, bake, shop, dance, play ping pong, and even help cure loneliness.

Lovot has developed what’s been described as an advanced Furby (remember those) with fur, wheels and flippers as well as sensors that detect touch, thermal cameras, and an impressive range of animated emotions.

LG also showed off concepts specifically developed for use at hotels, airports and supermarkets which deliver food and refreshments, carry luggage and help shoppers find products.

Of course, there was also no shortage of fun and cute robots that dance and do tricks, which have been around for a while but continue to advance and evolve.