Launching the latest gadgets and gambling on their future can make you rich or bankrupt you, so Las Vegas is the perfect venue for the International Consumer Electronics Show.
There is everything from a brain-wave reading headset to the latest 3D printers plus many curved TVs and smartphones as 3,000 technology companies unveil their latest products and services.
But this year the car is king with a record 10 automotive manufacturers taking part.
Lindsey Turrentine, Editor in Chief of CNET Reviews, explained the attraction for the carmakers: “The autonomous car will be a big topic at CES. All the major automakers come to this show.They come here to show off the ways in which the their cars are working with your smart watch, with your phone, there is talk of things like automatic valet service, so you just tell your car to come get you and it drives to you.”
They are not ready for prime-time yet. Mercedes had on show a concept car, which monitors the road through stereo cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors.
Since you are not driving you can do things like use touch screens to adjust the internal light and temperature levels – or watch a movie.
Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler, Mercedes-Benz parent company, believes it will change the way we think about cars.
“I think we see the merging of several worlds, the tech industry, the internet and the automotive industry. These two worlds merging is like a smart phone on wheels, or you can say it’s a car that has many of the capabilities of smart phones and computers and so on.”
Experts say true driverless vehicles are five to 10 years away but they could boost the global economy with increased productivity and fewer accidents.