However, this year’s Consumer Electronics Show convention — a massive annual tech showcase that was held in Vegas this January — gave us plenty to be excited about regarding the future of safe, high-tech innovations. One development could even mean that the introduction of flying taxis is ahead of schedule.
1. Honda’s 0 Series EVs
The models aren’t expected to be ready for customers in North America until the series launches in 2026, but the sleek designs — based on the core ideas of “Thin, Light, and Wise” — are sure to have people buzzing.
Honda noted in a press release that the “software-defined” vehicles will utilize artificial intelligence to “learn the user’s preferences” and “enhance the ownership experience,” as well as possess an improved fast-charging ability, able to power up from 15% to 80% in roughly 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Hyundai eVTOL aircraft
Hyundai Motor Group said its company is inspired by “the belief that humanity evolves with mobility,” and the walkthrough of the Supernal air taxi at CES 2024 sparked optimism that even more people will be clamoring to adopt eco-friendly ways of getting around.
The fully electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle (eVTOL) is intended to seamlessly “integrate” with existing transit options in cities, according to the company’s website, and Hyundai executives told TechCrunch that it hopes the taxi will be ready for suburban and inner-city travel by 2028.
It intends to complete a proposal for approval from the Federal Aviation Administration next year, per the news outlet.
3. Volkswagen’s ChatGPT-powered cars
ChatGPT is here to stay, and Volkswagen is partnering with software company Cerence to make hands-free communication even simpler and more comfortable.
As detailed by Engadget, the AI-powered chatbot will work with the automaker’s voice assistant to provide a “more natural language” experience and is able to differentiate whether a command is given by the driver or the passenger.
TechCrunch noted the feature is set to be released in Europe in the second quarter of the year, though the technology requires further approval in the United States before it’s available.
4. BMW’s augmented reality driving glasses
Some companies have used augmented reality to take viewers back in time, but BMW has its eyes on the future with its Air 2 navigational glasses that make drivers feel as if they’re in a video game.
As detailed by BBC’s Top Gear, the technology has been in development since 2008, and it provides its wearers with voice guidance, real-time data about hazards, and changes in speed limit, as shown in a recent YouTube video.
5. Pebble Flow’s solar panel-covered camper
Engadget noted that the 25-foot-long RV comfortably houses four people, and a combination of battery and solar can keep it powered for up to seven days. Other features include self-parking, the ability to automatically hitch to another vehicle, and a dual motor that limits the usual range dropoff by around 100 miles for EVs pulling the trailers.
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