Daimler’s trade fair exhibition at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (CES), which ended yesterday, focused fully on the outlook on the future of mobility.
The automaker said in statement that highlights included the world première of the new Mercedes-Benz CLA, US premières of the battery-electric Mercedes-Benz EQC (combined power consumption: 22.2 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km, provisional figures) as well as the revolutionary Vision URBANETIC mobility concept plus essential news about the Daimler Trucks’ strategy for automated trucks. After the Mercedes-Benz press conference, Sajjad Khan, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, CASE and Vice President Digital Vehicle & Mobility, will be giving an insight into the current developments within the context of the Daimler-wide CASE digitalisation strategy – Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Service and Electric Drive. In the afternoon, Wilfried Porth, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Human Resources and Director of Labour Relations at Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz Vans, explained the future of mobility using Vision URBANETIC as an example.
The new Mercedes-Benz CLA was showcased to the global public for the very first time, featuring its evolved MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system, a technological innovation that premièred at CES in 2018. New functions have already been added a mere 12 months later. As a result, the new Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupé is not only the most emotional vehicle of its class, it is also a highly intelligent automotive specimen: the new CLA offers a number of clever solutions, from the MBUX Interior Assistant that identifies operation requests on the basis of movements to lend the vehicle interior a certain level of intelligence, to augmented reality for navigation and the ability to understand indirect voice commands as well as ENERGIZING COACH featuring individual fitness recommendations.
The Mercedes-Benz EQC will be celebrating its US première – the first purely battery-electric Mercedes-Benz EQ series production model as a symbol for the start of a new mobility era at Daimler. Visually the crossover SUV is a pioneer of avant-garde electric aesthetics, representing an impressive combination of convenience, quality and everyday suitability. These elements are accompanied by dynamic performance, thanks to two electric motors at the front and rear axles with a combined output of 300 kW. Thanks to a sophisticated operating strategy, the EQC delivers an electric range of over 450 km according to NEDC (provisional figures).
The Vision URBANETIC will also be celebrating its US première – a completely new mobility concept for demand-based, efficient and sustainable mobility. The visionary concept is based on an autonomously driving, electrically driven chassis suitable for bodies intended to transport passengers or cargo. The fully network-compatible Vision URBANETIC forms part of an ecosystem in which logistics companies, local public transport companies as well as private individuals can digitally send their transport requests across urban environments. The concept reduces traffic volume, relieves inner-city infrastructure and contributes to a new, urban quality of life. The show car also demonstrates how an innovative and intelligent UI/UX design can also maintain the smooth functioning of mobility even without a driver.
 Figures for fuel consumption/power consumption and CO2 emissions are provisional and were determined by the technical service for the certification procedure in accordance with the WLTP test procedure and correlated in NEDC values. EC type approval and a certificate of conformity with official figures are not yet available. Differences between the stated figures and the official figures are possible.
Caption: Kia ‘SEED Car’ concept for smart city mobility
Kia Looks to Post-autonomous Driving Era at CES 2019
Kia Motors previewed a range of new technologies developed for the post-autonomous driving era at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019 that held in Las Vegas this week.
Building on the brand’s ‘Beyond Autonomous Driving’ vision for connected vehicles presented at CES 2018, Kia is looking ahead to a time when autonomous driving has become the norm with an interactive ‘Space of Emotive Driving’ exhibit at this year’s show, the automaker said in a statement.
Introducing ‘Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving’ (R.E.A.D.)
In a future where vehicles have the potential to drive themselves, Kia is laying the foundations for major technological development to improve the human mobility experience. Central to the presentation of this ‘Space of Emotive Driving’ vision at CES 2019 is Kia’s new Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving (R.E.A.D.) System – a world-first emotional AI-based optimized and interactive in-cabin space centered on human senses.
The R.E.A.D. System can optimize and personalize a vehicle cabin space by analyzing a driver’s emotional state in real-time through AI-based bio-signal recognition technology. The technology monitors a driver’s emotional state using sensors to read their facial expressions, heart rate and electrodermal activity. It then tailors the interior environment according to its assessment – potentially altering conditions relating to the five senses within the cabin, creating a more joyful mobility experience. AI deep-learning technology enables the system to establish a baseline in user behavior, and then identify patterns and trends to customize the cabin accordingly.
Mr. Albert Biermann, President and Head of Research & Development Division of Hyundai Motor Group said, “Kia considers the interactive cabin a focal point for future mobility, and the R.E.A.D. System represents a convergence of cutting-edge vehicle control technology and AI-based emotional intelligence. The system enables continuous communication between driver and vehicle through the unspoken language of ‘feeling’, thereby providing an optimal, human-sense oriented space for the driver in real-time”
The R.E.A.D. System is revealed alongside V-Touch – a world-first virtual touch-type gesture control technology. V-Touch employs a 3D camera to monitor users’ eyes and fingertip, allowing occupants to manage several in-car features via an unobtrusive head-up display. Through simple finger gestures, all vehicle occupants can make changes to the cabin environment, including lighting, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) and entertainment systems, eliminating the need for buttons or touch screen.
Another feature of the innovative R.E.A.D. System is Kia’s music-response vibration seats, where occupants can ‘feel’ their favorite songs as well as listen to them. The sensory-based signal processing technology adapts seat vibrations according to sound frequencies of the music being played. The vibration seats can also be set to massage mode to increase cabin comfort, as well as enhancing safety by providing haptic warnings from the vehicle’s advanced driver-assist systems.
Some of the technical expertise required to make this demo possible arose out of Kia’s research collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab’s Affective Computing Group as part of Kia’s Media Lab membership.
Kia giving CES visitors an opportunity to experience R.E.A.D. technology
Kia had specially-designed experiential modules installed at its CES booth to demonstrate the potential of the R.E.A.D. System. For the first time ever, the public will be able to experience vehicle technology that recognizes their physiological emotions based on facial expressions, electrodermal activity, and heart rate. Visitors to CES will be able to witness the sensory controls react in real-time to their changing emotional state.
‘R.E.A.D. Me’ is a one-person cockpit that analyzes the ‘driver’s’ emotional state and creates a ‘space mood’ according to its judgment, using R.E.A.D. technologies such as facial expression recognition and vibration seats. This tailored environment will include bespoke sounds and fragrances to best suit the occupant’s current disposition.
‘R.E.A.D. Now’ is a two-person cockpit simulating a ‘Las Vegas autonomous tour car’ that will make suggestions on route choice and in-car entertainment based on an analysis of the driver’s mood. The occupants will be invited to use the V-Touch gesture control system to play games, select music genres, modify the cabin environment and browse the internet for local information.
‘R.E.A.D. Motion’ is a four-person cockpit which simulates a ‘mobile workspace’ that is expected to be a key benefit of life with autonomous vehicles. Occupants will be invited to take on the role of a ‘Kia executive’ preparing for a business trip, using V-Touch to check their schedule and meeting minutes, open emails and so on. The long-distance functionality of the system means occupants can take control of the R.E.A.D. Motion cockpit controls from a distance. The experience will finish with a live conference call on the head-up display.
Kia shows vision for future smart-city mobility
Kia also presented a potential solution for smart-city mobility at CES 2019 with its ‘SEED Car’ concept. The ‘SEED Car’ is a four-wheel electric cycle with a range of 100 km (62 miles) based on a pedal-electric hybrid system, requiring pedal input from the driver but with a high degree of electric power assistance to make it effortless.
The concept has been designed to make urban driving easy, fun and safe, while exploring how Kia could make the final mile of any journey possible with a personal mobility device.
For longer journeys, the ‘SEED Car’ is housed within the ‘BIRD Car’ – an autonomous shuttle vehicle capable of travelling further than the four-wheel cycle’s range capabilities. Once within 100km of its final urban destination, the ‘SEED Car’ is ‘dispersed’ to complete its journey.
Volvo Cars Sets new Global Sales Record in 2018; Breaks 600,000 Sales Milestone
Volvo Cars set a new global sales record in 2018, breaking the 600,000 sales milestone for the first time ever since the company was founded in 1927. The company’s sales rose 12.4 per cent to 642,253 cars in 2018, compared with the same period the year before. This is the fifth consecutive year of global sales record for Volvo Cars. In 2017, the company sold 571,577 cars.
The new sales record in 2018 underscores strong demand for Volvo’s renewed product portfolio, led by its award winning SUV line-up, across the core regions of US, China and Europe. In December the company sold 60,157 cars, up 2.8 per cent compared with the same period last year.
In the January to December period, US sales grew by 20.6 per cent to 98,263 cars compared with the same period the year before. The strong performance came on the back of growing demand for its SUV line-up, led by the XC60. The made-in-the-US S60 cars have also started reaching dealerships and should contribute to volumes in 2019. In December, Volvo Cars sold 8,826 cars in the US market.
Sales in China grew by 14.1 per cent to 130,593 cars during the year, as compared with the same period the year before. The demand was spearheaded by the locally assembled XC60 and the S90 models. For December, total sales in the region reached 11,868 cars, up 17.9 per cent.
Europe also reported a strong performance in the year. Sales rose by 6.4 per cent to 317,838 cars in the 12-month period compared to 2017. The robust performance was led by the new V60 and XC40 models. In December the company sold 29,469 cars in the region.
Caption: All-new BMW Individual M850i
Out of this world: the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky
Stellar one-off version of the luxury sports car features controls made from meteoritic material, extra-terrestrial surface patterns, illuminated constellations on the centre console and 3D-printed components – BMW Individual takes exclusivity in design and material selection into a whole new dimension.
For over 25 years now, the BMW Individual Manufaktur customisation facility in Garching near Munich has been producing exceptionally high-quality equipment features, extraordinary special-edition models and spectacular one-offs – all sporting a highly distinctive design and further enriched by the world’s finest, most precious materials. And the bespoke styling specialists have now opened up a new dimension in exclusivity by looking beyond our planet and bringing the night sky into the car. In the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky (fuel consumption combined: 9.8 – 9.7 l/100 km [28.8 – 29.1 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 224 – 221 g/km), applications made from meteoritic material grace selected controls. Human fascination with the infinite vastness of the universe is also mirrored in the illuminated constellations of stars on the centre console and in the surface design of the luxury sports car’s trim finishers, seat backrests, brake discs and exterior add-on parts, which draws inspiration from celestial bodies.
The BMW Individual M850i Night Sky will be presented in the run-up to an exceptionally intense meteor shower expected to take place overnight from 3 – 4 January 2019. The show of shooting stars will begin when the Earth briefly passes through the orbit of the asteroid 2003 EH, during which time fragments from the asteroid will enter our planet’s atmosphere and burn up. On rare occasions, smaller rocks in space penetrate our planet’s protective shield and fall to Earth as meteorites. Some of these extra-terrestrial fragments have now been incorporated into the cabin of the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky.
By employing materials that are literally out of this world, BMW Individual Manufaktur has succeeded in giving the car unique and highly original aesthetic appeal and, in the process, pushed back the boundaries once again of what can be achieved when designing a car interior. The meteoritic rock adorns the whole of the centre console’s trim plate, the start/stop button for the V8 engine, the selector lever for the eight-speed Steptronic transmission and the Touch Controller for the iDrive system, creating a visual and tactile effect unparalleled in the automotive sector. Inlays made from meteorite material have also been incorporated into the door sill finishers, together with an illuminated model badge. All of which ensures the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky embodies luxury and exclusivity at an unprecedented level.
BMW Individual Manufaktur: birthplace of one-off specimens with a character of their own.
The BMW Individual Manufaktur customisation facility has always specialised in the production of one-off creations that lend expression to BMW drivers’ personal sense of style. Its mission is to turn individual customer requests into reality. The specialists from BMW Individual work together with the customer to produce bespoke solutions that range from extraordinary exterior paint finishes to exotic materials for the interior, special equipment features, accessories, stitching patterns, engravings and inlays. During the design and manufacturing process, creativity, attention to detail, craftsmanship, an uncompromising commitment to quality and a flair for the exceptional merge together to create truly unique cars.
In its quest for new creative possibilities, new combinations of materials and new processing techniques, BMW Individual frequently collaborates with big design names and famous luxury firms from other sectors. Input from artists and scientists helps to build the know-how needed to develop new products and exclusive one-offs. In designing the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky, BMW Individual called on the expertise of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, which is also located in Garching.
One of a kind: Widmanstätten-patterned surfaces.
Expanding on the use of meteoritic material for the controls inside the sports car, the design of many other interior and exterior elements takes its cues from a structure that only occurs in natural form on extra-terrestrial objects: the distinctive Widmanstätten surface pattern of meteorites. The strictly geometric structure, with its straight lines, has the appearance of ice crystals and becomes visible when certain types of iron meteorite are polished or brought into contact with acidic compounds. The structure is the result of the metal alloy cooling down in an extremely slow process that cannot be reproduced on Earth, making it an unmistakable signature of extra-terrestrial material. The unique pattern was first observed back in the early 19th century by a number of people, including the Austrian scientist Alois von Beckh Widmanstätten, after whom it is named.
The singularity of the Widmanstätten structure is symbolic of BMW Individual’s ongoing pursuit of innovative design solutions never seen before. Visible in the hand-stitched headliner and on the centre console’s trim finishers, it has also been milled into the brake discs of the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky. This distinctive meteorite pattern can also be found on the exterior mirror caps, the front splitters for the side air intakes at the front of the car, the centre mesh plate and the surrounds for the Air Breathers on the front side panels. These exterior components were all specially developed for the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky and individually manufactured using a 3D printing process.
The result of motor sport and manufacturing know-how: innovative, ultralight brake callipers with bionic design, made using 3D printing methods.
The same innovative additive manufacturing process is employed for making the brake callipers. Here, 3D printing techniques take intelligent lightweight design to a new level. The aluminium brake callipers with bionic design fitted on the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky were developed by BMW Motorsport and are up to 30 per cent lighter than components produced using conventional methods. The substantial reduction in unsprung mass produces a noticeable improvement in driving dynamics and ride comfort.
The BMW Group harnessed both its motor sport know-how and its expertise in the application of 3D printing for aluminium components to help it develop and manufacture the pioneering, bionic-design brakes. When creating the brake callipers, it was possible to reduce their mass to the minimum required to meet technical requirements, meaning that only the material needed for the brakes to work is used. The resulting form, whose construction mimics that of bones – with an optimum balance between component rigidity and weight – can only be produced using an additive manufacturing method and not with conventional casting techniques. What is more, it was possible to incorporate the brake fluid channels into the structure of the brake callipers. Additive manufacturing was again key to producing this integral design, which has additional benefits for the installation and rigidity of the lightweight braking system.
Innovations for individuality: leather trim in tri-colour design and LED-illuminated star constellations on the centre console.
BMW Individual fine-grain Merino leather trim in tri-colour design and the Opal White/Midnight Blue/Silver colour scheme constitute another first for interior styling. The Widmanstätten structure – a defining feature of the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky interior – is repeated in the stitching pattern for the seat centre sections.
The centre console armrests add another touch of brilliance, their special design inspired by the glittering heavens at night. LED units are used to illuminate their surfaces, producing the effect of a star-studded sky and giving the luxury sports car’s cabin a richly atmospheric feel. Deep-pile carpeting in Midnight Blue puts the finishing touches to the stylish interior ambience.
The exterior paintwork of the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky adds to its captivating aura. The BMW Individual special paint finish deftly combines two colour tones to achieve a high-impact effect. Black non-metallic was used as the base colour for the body. A second coat in San Marino Blue metallic was then painted over it in a graduated effect from the bottom edge of the body up to the top of the wheel arches. Finally, three layers of clear coat with varying pigment particle sizes were applied to give the paint finish a remarkable sense of depth.
The perfect platform for a mesmerising one-off: the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe luxury sports car.
The new BMW M850i xDrive Coupe provided the ideal basis for this sensational one-off model from BMW Individual Manufaktur. With its 390 kW/530 hp V8 engine, track-tuned chassis technology and BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system, the four-seater brings a new brand of sporting flair, emotional appeal and hallmark BMW driving pleasure to the luxury segment. Developed alongside both the BMW M8 and the BMW M8 GTE endurance racing car, the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe is built around a flawlessly honed overall concept that translates into captivating performance on the road. Sophisticated chassis systems enable the coupe to cover an exceptionally broad spectrum between sportiness and comfort, complementing the car’s dynamic prowess with outstanding everyday usability and long-distance capability.
The BMW M850i xDrive Coupe’s emotionally engaging body design is a product of the brand’s new design language, which conveys sporting appeal, sensual allure and exclusiveness through a core focus on precision and clarity. Like the optional carbon-fibre roof, a selection of special details elsewhere on the car serve to optimise its aerodynamic properties and lower its weight. Together with its low centre of gravity, long wheelbase and wide tracks, this helps the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe to blend sports performance and luxurious ride comfort more cohesively than any other car in its segment.
CO2 emissions & consumption
The figures for fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and power consumption are calculated based on the measurement methods stipulated in the current version of Regulation (EU) 2007/715. The information is based on a vehicle with basic equipment in Germany; ranges take into account differences in wheel and tyre size selected as well as optional equipment and can change during configuration.
The details marked * have already been calculated based on the new WLTP test cycle and adapted to NEDC for comparison purposes. In these vehicles, different figures than those published here may apply for the assessment of taxes and other vehicle-related duties which are (also) based on CO2 emissions.
Caption: World’s first Holographic Augmented Reality Navigation System equipped in the Genesis G80
Hyundai Motor Group, WayRay Unveil Next-generation Visual Technology at CES 2019
Hyundai Motor Group, in collaboration with Swiss deep-tech startup company WayRay AG, has unveiled the world’s first Holographic Augmented Reality (AR) Navigation System equipped in the Genesis G80 at CES 2019. The technology was on display at the WayRay booth 3110, Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall, throughout CES 2019, which closed yesterday.
Hyundai CRADLE, the hub for Hyundai’s open innovation business, decided to strategically invest in WayRay last September in recognition of its leadership in holographic AR technology and its future growth potential. Prior to this initial investment, Hyundai Motor Group had been conducting its own preliminary research on applying holographic technology to vehicles in early 2017 and later expanded its commitment to producing quality parts with WayRay. The two parties have continued to develop holographic AR navigation technology in mass-produced vehicles, with long-term road tests in South Korea to minimise system errors.
“This demo car is the first step of the proof of concent (PoC), but is an important step towards technology driven innovation,” said Yunseong Hwang, Director of Open Innovation Business Group from Hyundai Motor Group. “Future mobility windshields will be more than just a piece of glass. AR holographic powered glass will serve as a platform to provide new services and open up new in-vehicle experiences.”
The biggest advantage of a holographic AR navigation system built into the vehicle is that the stereoscopic image is displayed on the actual road and appropriately adjusted in accordance with the specific viewing angle of the driver, thereby delivering accurate driving guidance. The driver can enjoy vivid and precise holographic images without wearing a headset. The direction of movement is kept precise through the vehicle speed in real-time, and projecting navigational alerts through the windshield onto the road allows drivers to navigate safely while looking ahead undistracted.
Additionally, while conventional head-up display (HUD) units project a reflected image indirectly through an LCD screen mounted on the dashboard, the holographic AR display projects an image through the windshield.
WayRay’s display shows not only navigational features — such as lane guidance, destination points, and current speed — in augmented reality, but also incorporates ADAS features like lane departure warnings and forward collision warnings. The virtual image of 1,310mm x 3,152mm is projected at a distance of 15m from the driver’s eyes; Hyundai Motor Group has refurbished its HUD to fit WayRay’s system and offer the optimized solution to drivers.
The two parties will continue to work closely together to expand holographic AR technology to display people, objects, buses, bicycle lanes, and crosswalks, and additionally, further develop advanced ADAS functions such as a rear side warning system and the Highway Driving Assist (HDA) system.
In addition, they expect the incorporation of V2X (Vehicle to Everything) technology and connectivity features will allow data such as traffic signals, surrounding vehicle information, as well as road or weather conditions, to be provided in real time.
“As the automotive market is undergoing a profound AR technology-driven transformation, major automakers are quickly adopting AR solutions to find another competitive edge,” said Vitaly Ponomarev, CEO of WayRay. “I believe the strong partnership with Hyundai will help us scale up our deep-tech innovation to build customer-centric solutions at a meaningful scale and make driving more comfortable and safe for everyone.”
Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors are concentrating their research and development resources on acquiring AR navigation and other related technologies to improve upon and accelerate the next generation of displays and connected vehicles. Not only will this disruptive technology help Hyundai Motor Group achieve its vision of a more integrated and seamless blending of automotive technologies, but also assist in developing other closely related areas of interest such as wearable robots, smart-buildings, smart-cities and a plethora of other exciting possibilities.
Besides this holographic AR navigation demonstrated at CES 2019, Hyundai Motor will exhibit a cocoon-shaped cockpit which allows visitors at CES 2019 to get a taste for freedom in mobility, while Kia Motors will showcase innovations that allow visitors to experience such technologies as the new Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving (R.E.A.D.) System.
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