CES 2016 Showcases Auto Reveals

CES 2016 has grown again from its noticeable presence last year.  This year brought 10 auto OEM’s, over 115 auto electronic tech companies, 25% more floor space and two OEM keynotes (GM and VW).   Auto presence was up 17% YoY (Consumer Tech Assoc.) and the press buzz was hard to miss.  The 2016 CES Innovation Awards included a Vehicle Intelligence category, won by Ford and In Vehicle Audio/Video won by Bosch. 


Compelling Auto Trends:

  • No Longer Just for Luxury Cars – Cannot afford a 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class or a Maserati Quattroporte GTS?  Models including the Kia Soul EV and the Ford Fusion are beefing up their advanced driving features. Hyundai and Kia are investing $2B over two years for driverless tech research. Ford’s will utilize Velodyne’s advanced auto sensors.  Toyota is now the global leader in self-driving car patents.
  • Focus on Nearer Term Features – Increases were seen for nearer term and aftermarket releases of “conditional automation” vs. concept cars like the Mercedes-Benz F015 Luxury in Motion from 2015.  Options included Bosch traffic jam technology and fully automated parking by 2018 and the BMW l360 laser scan for collision avoidance which will be available in the next few years.  Aftermarket players such as Voyomotive’s VOYO are shipping in March with start/stop technology, engine immobilization and remote door unlocking.  Bosch presented Retrofit eCall (plugs into the cigarette lighter), previously only standard equipment.
  • LiDAR’s Lower Cost Scaling – Pricing has continued to fall by approx. a factor of 10 since 2007.    Quanergy Systems demo’d the first integrated Solid State LiDAR named S3 with Mercedes.  Ford will test Velodyne’s new 360-degree LiDAR sensor named the VLP-16 Puck in its autonomous Fusion test vehicles by EOY.  Valeo announced their intention to be the #1 to mass market for their LiDAR solution.
  • Evolution of Ownership – Urban congestion, millennial perspectives, TCO and rapid global expansion of car sharing services are converging into a new paradigm of car ownership.  This has led to increased competition, pilots and acquisitions between the established transportation industry (OEM’s, car rental companies, taxi services) and newer entrants.  Ford spoke of a direction into transportation services which includes GoDrive and Peer-2-Peer efforts.  GM announced an investment of $500M in Lyft to create a network of US on-demand autonomous vehicles. 
  • Ecosystem Shifts –Volvo, Nissan, Harman and IAV announced new deals with MSFT.  Ford announced integration with the Amazon Echo, but nothing on Google.   Chip players like Intel, NVIDA, and Qualcomm are going center stage with their tech and design-ins with OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers.  Buzzy yet mysterious Faraday Future, backed by Chinese Billionaire Jia Yeuting, expects to begin production by 2017 near Vegas.  Sadly, it is not expected that the battery-powered FFZero1 will resemble their “Batman” concept car.
  • Over the Air Momentum – How to we move from today’s connected cars to enabling V2X?    How will these be monetized, standardized and secured?  Over the Air (OTA) is one option gaining momentum.  MSFT’s Office 365 will be continuously updated through Harman's OTA incremental updates.  Airbiquity is partnering with Arynga to enable OTA software updates.  Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 820A chip will support QNX, CarPlay and Android Auto and allow the OEM’s to send OTA updates.  QCM hardware samples expected in Q1 with implementation ~ EOY.   Irdeto and Movimento are also collaborating to provide in-vehicle and OTA security. 


This is a brief capture of what was seen at CES 2016, but the trends are some of the most influential in the auto industry. The impact of mass market adoption, focus on nearer-term features, LiDAR scaling, evolution of ownership, ecosystem shifts, and OTA momentum will have significant influence on the industry.  Comprehending how to proactively capitalize on these trends will be a game changing opportunity.