CES 2024: Car companies failed to “paint cakes”, and an old object that has existed for decades became the biggest highlight of the event

At the just-opened 2024 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Izumi Kawanishi, the president of Sony Honda Mobility, used the PS5 DualSense controller to drive a familiar yet unfamiliar electric car onto the stage. .

A year has passed since the debut of Afeela. Now Sony Honda has brought this Afeela concept car to CES. It is called the "upgraded version". However, the official has not disclosed too much about the specific aspects of the upgrade. .

Putting aside the music, movies and games that Sony often talks about, judging from the body of the Afeela, it is better to call it a "pragmatic version" than an "upgraded version".

The newly added active air intake grille, solid exterior mirrors, ultrasonic radar and other details release signals of mass production; the sheet metal design with lower production costs also shows a more realistic appearance. The only new thing at the press conference that can be called "cutting-edge" is AI.

Sony Honda announced a cooperation with Microsoft, and the two parties will jointly develop the AI ​​assistant in the Afeela car – which Sony Honda believes will become their leading point.

A few months ago, Izumi Kawanishi once said that "Chinese electric vehicles have no technology at all." He believes that although China's new energy vehicle companies are developing rapidly, in terms of software technology, they "just list a bunch of APP icons like smartphones."

But now, looking back at Sony, which has participated in 4 CES with 3 concept cars, in addition to labeling itself "AI" this year, it does not dare to draw other big cakes.

In fact, not only Sony, but also down-to-earth has become the main theme of this year's CES.

The car company’s pie doesn’t taste good

In the past few years, the huge potential of intelligence has made the world start to imagine new possibilities for future travel. However, after patience has exhausted, people's expectations for smart cars and autonomous driving have returned to reality.

A new feature that can be implemented immediately is far more attractive than a vague "future".

Compared with previous years, most of the exhibitors at CES this year appeared to be very restrained. BMW, which "colors" its car body every year, stopped messing around this year.

The i Vision Dee concept car launched by BMW at CES 2023, the body can change colors at will

At this exhibition, we will present richer digital content and experiences.

Director Wei Bofan demonstrated BMW's new direction of virtual reality – AR glasses at the scene. Compared with the micro LED-based full windshield HUD on iVision Dee, it is much more reliable.

BMW said that they can use XREAL's newly launched Air 2 Ultra augmented reality glasses to visually integrate functions such as navigation instructions, hazard warnings, entertainment content, charging station information, and parking situations into the real environment.

The "reliable" part of this solution is that the Air 2 Ultra AR glasses only cost $699 and will be shipped in March this year. Although the hardware alone is useless, it is at least better than the long-term full windshield. HUD is more promising.

It is worth mentioning that there is also a NIO ES8 parked at XREAL’s booth, as well as AR glasses jointly developed by XREAL and NIO. If the AR ecosystem can continue to improve in the next few years, AR and MR will have a good chance of being used as a supplement to in-vehicle displays to provide drivers with richer information content.

LG’s vision this year is more restrained, bringing only a few displays——  P2P (Pillar to Pillar) display solution.

In front, a 12.3-inch P-OLED instrument panel and a 34-inch P-OLED central control screen form a huge screen across the dashboard. The back seat uses two 17-inch foldable OLED screens.

Although these screens have LG's latest viewing angle control technology, which can prevent the driver from watching the passenger's screen while driving, they are essentially the same as the common IP designs in China today. You can even find the same screen in China. Passenger screen with privacy protection function.

China’s advanced understanding of new energy vehicles is evident.

Such a scene can also be seen at the Valeo booth. Valeo has brought a series of latest technological achievements and future mobility solutions to this CES, the most eye-catching of which is the personalized lighting experience outside the car. Valeo's demonstration of this technical approach is equally special – through a 007.

The headlight of JiKrypton 007 is equipped with a 15mm high Thinbilite ultra-thin dual-function lighting module and two digital panels containing more than 1,700 LEDs. If you come to Valeo's booth, you can draw a pattern you want and display it on the Krypton 007 light strip. After taking a group photo, you can use the on-site printer to print out the photo.

This feature is indifferent to Chinese people, but it shocks foreigners.

The Volkswagen booth next door also brought a new feature that made foreigners cheer – "extremely advanced" physical buttons on the steering wheel.

2024 marks the 50th anniversary of the birth of Volkswagen Golf. To this end, Volkswagen has replaced the new headlight shape with a new headlight shape for the debut of the new Golf GTI, and enhanced the sense of technology and recognition through a through-type light strip and a backlit logo. But the most gratifying update is the return of physical buttons.

Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schäfer previously accepted user criticism of the eighth-generation Golf's transition to touch buttons, admitting that his own strategy of emphasizing touch screens had "caused a lot of damage" to the brand, and the touch buttons on the steering wheel were returned. .

The annual CES Consumer Electronics Show has long been regarded as a benchmark for the consumer electronics industry. It is difficult to imagine that the physical steering wheel, which has been on the steering wheel for decades, will become a highlight of CES in 2023.

Consumers can no longer bite the pie that car manufacturers have painted before.

Software-defined cars, a lie?

Ai Faner and Dong Auto Club colleagues who went to the other side of the ocean to attend the Las Vegas exhibition sighed like this after visiting the automobile area:

The entire automotive area is software.

The origin of the phrase "software-defined cars" has long been unknown. It appeared around 2002-2007, but what is certain is that this phrase did not stir up too many waves at the time. It was not until 2016 that the person in charge of Baidu's autonomous driving It became popular after Wang Jin proposed it.

In recent years, the embodiment of "software-defined cars" has gradually spread from large central control screens to OTA upgrades, software payment, assisted driving, intelligent chassis, etc. Now, it has a new direction – sound.

At the Ideal Family Technology Day held in June this year, Ideal Classmate for the first time changed from a voice assistant to an AI virtual life. In Ideal words: it changed from a "classmate" to a "teacher" .

Backed by Mind GPT, Ideal Classmate now has capabilities similar to generative AI such as ChatGPT and Midjourney. You can ask it any questions you can think of, or ask it to draw. In many cases, it can give Satisfactory answer. Although it has received a lot of criticism, the new Ideal Classmates still illustrates the feasibility of large models on the car to a certain extent.

The new Golf GTI, which introduces "extremely advanced" physical steering wheel buttons, also brings an "ideal classmate" to Volkswagen owners this time.

Volkswagen said that users do not need to create a new account, install any App or activate ChatGPT. They only need to say "Hello IDA" or press a button on the steering wheel to activate the voice assistant. IDA will prioritize whether the vehicle function should be performed. If it cannot answer your request, it will anonymously "forward" your question to the AI ​​and respond after getting the answer.

BMW, which likes to play with virtual reality, has also created a new generation of BMW intelligent personal assistant with the support of Amazon Alexa's large language model, which can provide more humanized help to drivers and passengers and answer questions about the vehicle in a timely manner.

Another German powerhouse, Mercedes-Benz, also regards the AI ​​voice assistant as a major upgrade of the MBUX system. Mercedes-Benz said: "It can even satirize you, be careful not to fall in love."

The car is becoming like a smartphone on wheels.

It's a cliche, but it's also true. Jack Weast, vice president and general manager of Intel Automotive, believes that the automotive industry is facing many unique challenges now as it tries to stuff more complex computers into cars to cope with the development of software. It is believed that cars will become the next great software platform.

"We're bringing artificial intelligence into the car," Weast said.

In the huge CES exhibition hall, there is certainly more than one person who has this idea. In essence, "software-defined cars" are a trap set up by outside forces to enter the automotive industry.

Anyone with wheels is interested and welcome to communicate. Email: [email protected]

# Welcome to follow the official WeChat public account of Aifaner: Aifaner (WeChat ID: ifanr). More exciting content will be provided to you as soon as possible.

Ai Faner | Original link · View comments · Sina Weibo