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Driverless cars steal the show at CES

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Driverless cars steal the show at CES

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Driverless cars are all the rage at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which features plenty of smart, driverless, electric and

Driverless cars are all the rage at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which features plenty of smart, driverless, electric and energy-efficient vehicles.

More than a hundred car tech companies and nine major manufacturers are showing off the rapidly evolving technology.

BMW unveiled its iVision Future Interaction Concept Car, which offers three driving modes: in Pure Drive, the driver has full control of the car. In Assist mode, the car is driven manually but the driving aids automatically kick in if they sense an imminent collision. And in Auto mode, the vehicle drives itself without any human input.

US carmaker Ford unveiled the new tool it says will help it win the race to make a fully autonomous vehicle: a low-cost can-sized light and radar sensor, or LiDAR, developed in the Silicon Valley. Until now, the high cost of such sensors has been one of the main obstacles to widespread commercialization of self-driving vehicles.

The Batmobile-like electric supercar, the FFZero1 is the new baby of Californian-based, Chinese-backed startup Faraday Future, which hopes to develop a range of connected vehicles that will challenge luxury rivals like Tesla and Audi on the market for non-gasoline cars.

And still smarting from the “clean diesel” scandal, Volkswagen offered what it called the “gateway to the future”: the BUDD-e van, VW’s the new generation camper van. Packed with state-of-the-art technology, it offers more than 230 miles of zero emissions range according to the German carmaker.

  • CES 2016

    General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra unveils the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV The car will have a 200-mile range and cost about $30,000, she said. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • CES 2016

    People look over the BMW i Vision Future Interaction concept car. The car includes BMW AirTouch technology that lets the driver control various functions with simple gestures. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • CES 2016

    A Casio WSD-F10 Smart Outdoor Watch. The Android Wear watch, which links with a smartphone, has sensors for air pressure and altitude, and has a built-in accelerometer, compass and gyrometer. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • CES 2016

    A Sony PS-HX500 turntable. The new turntable lets users record vinyl using high-resolution music formats such as DSD and WAV. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • CES 2016

    An attendee looks over a Sony Z5 Premium smart phone. The phones are the first with a 4K Ultra HD display, a representative said. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • CES 2016

    A man takes a photo of a 78-inch “Quantum Dot” SUHD television by Samsung Electronics. The quantum dot technology creates a brighter picture, a representative said. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • CES 2016

    A Gear S2 Classic Platinum smart watch. The watch is compatible with most Android smartphones. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • CES 2016

    A man checks out the Nikon D500 digital SLR camera. The new 20.9 megapixel camera will be the top of the Nikon DX line, a representative said. The camera will be available in March and retail for $1999.00 (body only). REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • CES 2016

    An attendee tries the ReliefBand wearable electronic device, described as used to treat nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness and pregnancy. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

  • CES 2016

    Nissan Motor Co. General Manager Tetsuya Iijima removes his hands from the steering wheel of an autonomous drive Nissan Leaf as it pilots itself through Sunnyvale, California. REUTERS/Noah Berger

  • CES 2016

    BBC television reporter Rory Cellan-Jones tries out a HairMax Laserband, a hands-free device that claims to treat hair loss and cause new hair growth. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

  • CES 2016

    The Faraday Future FFZERO1 electric concept car. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • CES 2016

    The Triby by Inoxia, a WiFi and Bluetooth-enabled device for the kitchen, is displayed during “CES Unveiled,” a preview event of the 2016 International CES trade show, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The $199.00 device has an Internet phone, a speaker for music, and a connected message board. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • CES 2016

    A Withings’ Thermo, a smart temporal thermometer, is displayed during “CES Unveiled,” a preview event of the 2016 International CES trade show, in Las Vegas, Nevada January 4, 2016. The $99.00 has a 16-sensor array for accuracy and is WiFi-enabled. It is expected to be available in the end of the first quarter in 2016, a representative said. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • CES 2016

    A Mother monitoring system by Sen.se is displayed during “CES Unveiled.” The device for seniors has features such as medication reminders and alerts. Sensors on pill bottles let Mother know if the medication has been accessed or merely moved, a representative said. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • CES 2016

    A Canhe-Fit pendant for pets is displayed on a toy dog during “CES Unveiled.” The fitness tracker monitors your pet’s activity level, then an App gives nutritional advice depending on the breed, age and weight of the pet. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • CES 2016

    An aroma module is inserted into a Sensorwake alarm clock during “CES Unveiled.” The $109 olfactory alarm clock releases the scents at the programmed time but will also sound an auditory alarm if you don’t wake up after three minutes. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • CES 2016

    Workers set up a commercial drone display at the AEE Technology booth in the Las Vegas Convention Center. In the foreground is a F600 all-weather, carbon fiber drone. The large size means the the drone can carry a larger payload and has better stability in wind, a representative said. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • CES 2016

    Bran Ferren ©, founder of Applied Minds, listens to a journalist dressed in an R70i aging suit during a preview of the Genworth booth. The suits simulate various aging conditions and will be used in a national tour to educate and build empathy for the aging process, said spokeswoman Alexandra Osorio. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • CES 2016

    The Volkswagen BUDD-e electric vehicle is displayed during Chairman of Volkswagen Passenger Cars’ board Herbert Diess’ keynote address at the 2016 CES trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 5, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • CES 2016

    Volkmar Tanneberger, head of electric and electronic development at Volkswagen, shows off the Volkswagen e-Golf Touch electric vehicle. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • CES 2016

    Fitbit Blaze watches are displayed. The $199.95 smart fitness watches are expected to be available in March, a representative said. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • CES 2016

    Fitbit Blaze watches. The $199.95 smart fitness watches are expected to be available in March, a representative said. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

  • CES 2016

    A Mercedes-Benz IAA (Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile) concept car. The car can change shape under certain driving conditions, to increase fuel efficiency. REUTERS/Steve Marcus