CES 2016 to focus on autonomous vehicles

Published: January 5, 2016

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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By 2017 the first autonomous vehicles will be on the road and it is widely expected that this technology is going to be the focus of the Consumer Electronics Show 2016. CES is the largest technology oriented trade show in the world, the Las Vegas event this year is expected to be dominated by autonomous vehicle technology and where it is going to take us over the next year and beyond.

Indeed, at this year’s event nine of the top 10 automobile manufacturers in the world will be in attendance and each will be showing off their technology for the advent of driver-less vehicles. Some of those manufacturers (KIA and VW among them) are expected to be showing prototype vehicles for what will be the first autonomous vehicles in the next few years. Ford is also planning to announce a partnership with Google, the internet has been working on a car without a steering wheel for some years.

There is also going to be plenty of discussion and debate about the changes autonomous vehicles will bring to the insurance industry and how it will impact consumerism and traffic safety.

“We spend a long time talking to people about the basic operations of vehicles,” Toyota Canada vice-president Stephen Beatty said. “You’re taught how to drive once and, what you learn at 16-17 years old, forms the basis of your knowledge. If you renew vehicles every 10 years, only so much will stick. When we see rate at which technology is changing, the public needs to be educated, and we need find ways to make that fun and engaging.”

The technology is now ready, but the challenge is getting consumers used to the idea that they will not always be operating their vehicles. Some drivers love to drive their cars, finding ways to offer autonomous travel as a viable alternatives need to be sought. One potential benefit to road users is that auto insurance will become more affordable as accidents will decrease and insurance companies will seek to put liability on manufacturers, something many car companies already accept will happen.

There are other discussions to be had, such as will vehicle occupants even need to have licenses? Questions like that are probably still some time away as vehicles with full autonomy are not likely to hit the market until 2025. However, in the next few years you will be handing over the control of your vehicles, at least partially, to your vehicle and CES 2016 will be a window into what the future holds.