Both the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas are underway this week. I went to the auto show (largely because it's closer), but a lot of this year's emphasis seems to be on the integration of cars with cloud computing.
Green cars are present, but they aren't the focus they have been in previous years. In their floor displays, Chevrolet's Volt, Nissan's Leaf, and the Toyota Priuses (among others) are just another part of the lineup, without a lot of special attention. The Honda Civic Natural Gas car, which won the Green Car of the Year, sits off to the side of the Honda display like a tacked on afterthought. Everyone may still have EVs and hybrids, but it seems that they're an expected part of a complete line, and don't need to be emphasized as in previous years.
Several manufacturers presentations focused on making the car a connected platform, emphasizing smart features like navigation and integration with social media. Ford's 'Cloud' presentation is a 12-seat ride that raises up above the show floor into a 360 degree panorama presentation about the connectedness of their systems.
More broadly, this starts to present the car as a service rather than just a product; the connectivity the car offers instead of a thing that one has. One of Ford's displays around the 'Cloud' exhibit graphically shows the percentage of automobile owners in several world cities. If automakers are starting to see this as a trend, there could be something more revolutionary going on, and even more overlap between NAIAS and CES may be forthcoming in the coming years.
written by computer recycling, February 07, 2012
written by biogetica, November 05, 2012
written by Bruce, March 22, 2013
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