CES showcased a lot of emerging innovations around Artificial Intelligence (AI), the industrial metaverse, autonomous vehicles, and Electric Vehicles (EVs). The event especially highlighted the importance of data analytics and customization in today’s market.
Registered users can unlock up to five pieces of premium content each month.
Log in or register to unlock this Insight.
Wide Range of Technologies on Display
CES, the massive annual technology trade show, was held earlier this month in Las Vegas. It is arguably the most influential technology event worldwide as an exhibition arena for innovation. Before flying into Vegas, I heard about the size of CES and how it has evolved from primarily a consumer gadget exhibition to an industry- and automotive-focused mega event, but I wasn’t expecting such a large level of focus on industrial technologies, especially ones focusing on transportation and logistics. There was a lot of coverage relevant to supply chain management through Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, Artificial Intelligence (AI), the industrial metaverse, digital twins, autonomous trucks, agriculture technology, and commercial Electric Vehicles (EVs).
Below are some key highlights:
- Valeo: During media day, automotive giant Valeo hosted a press conference, which was very eye-catching. It signaled the “democratization” of Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) through partnerships with Renault, Stellantis, and General Motors (GM). It showcased a new “AI-enabled smart front camera as central computer” product that connects with multiple sensors. In addition, Valeo claimed to be working on a system of connected components that would enable ADAS-like safety systems on any vehicle, including two-wheelers. Valeo also announced its digital twin testing environment.
- Autonomous Trucking: Autonomous trucking had quite a showing at the event. Several emerging startups in this space showcased their latest upgrades to their autonomous driving systems and highlighted notable partnerships with established automotive players. Two emerging companies in this space, Aurora Innovation and Kodiak Robotics, both presented the autonomous Class 8 truck designs they plan to deploy later this year. Aurora has partnered with Continental to empower mass production of its autonomous driving system from 2027. Aurora has also partnered with trucking Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) PACCAR and Volvo Trucks to integrate self-driving technology with their vehicles. Elsewhere, Gatik announced a tire data partnership with Goodyear to help advance the safety and performance of its autonomous trucks.
- Commercial EVs: Commercial EVs had quite a showing as well. Kia was at the forefront of this. Kia showcased a new line of three customizable electric vans, with modular, swappable bodies. The vans were grouped as Platform Beyond Vehicle (PBV).
- HERE Technologies: Apart from the announcement of a global partnership with Uber, HERE Technologies also announced the launch of HERE EV Range Factors, which leverages road topography data such as elevation, slope, curvature, roughness, wind speed/direction, etc., as well as EV charging data with predictive analytics to streamline EV deployments and operations for commercial fleets.
- Agriculture Tech: Data and automation-enabled precision agriculture was a highlight as well and John Deere exhibited this more than any other vendor. It showcased innovative technology in precision agriculture featuring automated cotton planting and picking systems designed to augment human labor and add a level of unmatched precision when it comes to planting and picking, as well as spraying weeds in farms. It also announced its intentions of bringing satellite communications service to the farm at scale so farmers with cellular coverage challenges can maximize the value of connectivity within their operations.
Evolving Data-Backed Use Cases and Customization
Even with the broad variety of solutions on display, one conclusion can be reached for all technologies—improved data usage and analytics will be the key to streamlined adoption. Take fleet electrification for example. HERE Technologies is adding an extra level of granularity, which will only add to the precision of predictive modeling, undoubtedly helping fleet managers with their electrification efforts. As for electrifying commercial fleets, where marginal improvements to operations are the difference maker, a richer variety of data can undoubtedly be the difference maker. The same is true for precision agriculture. Given the recent supply chain congestion and growing nearshoring/reshoring trends, we will start to see a lot of agricultural innovations to boost agricultural productivity in the United States. Uninterrupted connectivity and real-time data analytics will be crucial here. Valeo’s digital twin intentions resonate here as well. Leveraging the process of running several scenarios in an accelerated time frame and then using the results of those tests to develop thermal management solutions for EV batteries can potentially improve real-world range and battery longevity for EVs.
Another key takeaway was the fact that solution providers are looking to cater to custom needs more efficiently. Kia’s PBV was a testament to this. PBV’s unique capability of having modular, swappable bodies means that it can address some of the complex requirements for last-mile deliveries, for example. This level of customization for fleets could open up opportunities for new businesses and processes by revising the concept of space thanks to advanced, tailored interiors that provide ultimate freedom and flexibility.