Quick CES round-up #2…

January 7, 2016 § Leave a comment

vw budd-eVolkswagen’s BUDD-e concept: not so much a ‘new Microbus’ as a rolling tech showcase, and I’m glad they didn’t go retro for its design.  It’s based on VW’s ‘Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), a flexible platform which could underpin a series of new EVs, has a motor driving each axle to give 4WD (110kW to the front, 125kW to the rear) and is said to give a range of up to 233 miles, 122mph and 0-60 in 6.9 seconds. Plus, inevitably, it features a fully-networked IoT-enabled interactive display, smart-home connections, touch and gesture controls, and app-programmable entertainment, and is furnished with the usual show-car lounge-style swivelling seats. The ground-up purpose-designed MEB “conceptual matrix”, by the way, is VW’s bid to make EVs competitive with gasoline-driven cars range-wise “by the end of the decade”, by which time, battery-charging time “should have been cut to about 15 minutes” for an 80% capacity. It’s compatible with induction charging, in the meantime (80% in 30 minutes on a 150kW DC charger). Packaging-wise, the BUDD-e is between VW’s Touran and Multivan T6 in size, although wider than both and with a long wheelbase. Full low-down on all the tech, etc, here.

  • Audi’s CES story is a version of the e-tron quattro concept (electric SUV), with new interior displays and communications kit: car-to-infrastructure connectivity, ‘organic light emitting diodes’ (OLED) for the ‘virtual cockpit’ displays, touch-response on the MMI (multi-media interface), an updated information/entertainment platform, a new ‘flat hierarchy’ menu system,  wi-fi, an expanded Audi connec portfolio of services/data streams, music streaming, Apple TV and more. The V2X stuff includes ‘swarm intelligence’ data – from other so-equipped vehicles – on traffic conditions, hazards and soforth, and speed advice for smoother driving through green traffic lights; there’s also piloted driving (traffic jams) and auto-parking. More here.
  • Feeding the data to the above Audi (and many others), mapping/location tech firm HERE has announced its new cloud-based HD Live Map, said to be a detailed and dynamic representation of the road ahead and to enable a car to ‘see’ around corners. This will feed into ADAS systems and, ultimately, automated driving. More, er, HERE.
  • And a ‘digital antidote’ – nice note on the Rinspeed Etos from Joe at Car Design News, who highlights some very analogue touches in this autonomous, drone-accessoried concept, including a bookshelf. For reading real hardback paper books while the car drives itself.
  • Pictures & details have been released on Hyundai’s Ioniq – hybrid (Prius rival) comes first, then PHEV and EV versions. Formal unveiling/launch at Geneva Motor Show in March. More here. And a production version of the Chevrolet Bolt has been shown off in Vegas – this high-riding compact hatch is said to have a 200-mile battery range, but won’t be coming to the UK, reports Autocar; it has, however, been designed with car clubs and car-sharing in mind, reports Auto News. More on the Bolt in Detroit next week.
  • And an interesting little DIY self-assembly idea: France Craft is punting its electric kit cars, aimed as low-cost, 125-mile runarounds. Well, not quite DIY – they’re road-legal in France only if assembled by a certified mechanic. More here.
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