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6. Mercedes F 015
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is held throughout Las Vegas at the beginning of every year and is one of the biggest electronics show in the world. Companies from all over the world meet to show off their latest innovations. Car companies started coming as exhibitors about a decade ago, and this year almost every major car company showed up, including Ford, Honda, Hyundai, and Mercedes. The latter company debuted several self-driving vehicles, including the F 0158 full concept car that is a myriad of futuristic technological innovations. The car is fully autonomous and is powered, in theory, by a fuel cell hybrid powertrain for up to 684 emission free miles. The interior features a lounge style cabin with swiveling front seats that automatically turn to the optimal angle for entering and exiting the vehicle. A remarkable concept to be sure, but it will take a long time to get from being technically possible to being commercially viable. We probably won’t see the F 015 anytime soon, though it’s a safe bet that we will see self-driving vehicles in commercial use in the near future. Autonomous technology will change the way cars are used, from the way they are driven to the way they are integrated and used within society.
5. AV Road Trip
The Alliance for Transportation Innovation or ATI announced plans early this year to have a coast to coast autonomous vehicle road trip that will begin in late January in Atlanta, Georgia. Stops on the AV tour include New Orleans, Arlington Texas, Los Angeles and San Jose California. ATI hopes to bring autonomous and other innovative technologies into the transportation industry as quickly as possible to safely and efficiently deliver goods while eliminating the human errors that cause horrific and fatal accidents across the world.
Developers launched a pilot for this real-time ride options app in Portland, Oregon in May of 2016. The app could offer users a list of ride options in their area, from a bus to an Uber to a bike sharing option and find them the quickest possible, or most affordable route to get the user where they need to go. The app is hoping to capitalize off of the trend of more and more young people being inclined to use public transportation or ride sharing options as opposed to owning a vehicle.
3. Robot Taxi in Paris
Sea Bubbles will be flying on the Seine River in Paris, at least for test runs this spring. A yachtsman and a Swedish windsurfer came up with this bubble shaped transportation alternative that can fit four passengers and a driver. The vehicle would be an app and work much like Uber or Lyft. So far funding has been promising as the creators have been able to raise over five hundred thousand dollars from various backers, including the French government. The boats, which look like something out of Minority Report, float two feet above the water and can reach speeds of nearly twenty miles per hour. Once the company fully develops the Sea Bubble, they hope to go to other cities like London or Geneva. The propulsion system of the craft is powered by electricity, making it zero emission and soundless. If tests go well and the company that built the Sea Bubble secures more money, we could be seeing them around the world in the future. The creators hope to come up with a viable version of the Sea Bubble that is entirely operated by a robot.
2. TomTom Go
TomTom has been making car navigation products for years, and their newest GPS device, which the company unveiled early this year is incredible. The TomTom Go has software that can be updated using Wi-Fi with no computer connectivity. The device can learn driver’s habits and predict their destinations. It becomes familiar with regularly driven commutes and can provide alternate routes based on traffic situations. They also integrate with smartphones by reading text messages out loud and allowing hands-free calling.
1. Pilotless Drone
The EHang personal minicopter is designed to transport one human being without the use of a pilot. The passenger would choose a point on a map to travel to, and the drone would comply. All that the passenger would have to do after that is sit and wait to arrive at their destination. The vehicle was unveiled early last year at CES and caused quite a stir. While experts are unsure if the vehicle and transportation system would catch on with a price tag of at least two hundred thousand dollars, the drone was given test clearance by the state of Nevada in June.