A few short years ago, the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was little more than an afterthought for the auto industry. However, as manufacturers have focused more on developing new technology, it has become an important part of the industry calendar. With nine major manufacturers and more than 100 accessory producers, 2016 was the year automakers took over CES.
The event featured the industry’s most cutting-edge innovations, with giants like GM, Toyota and Kia all seeking to outdo each other by unveiling the most ambitious, audacious tech ideas. Some were early glimpses of the possible future of the industry, while others will shortly be on the market. For aspiring auto mechanics, the cars unveiled at CES 2016 were not only exciting, but also carried huge potential implications for their future careers.
Didn’t get a chance to check out this year’s CES? Read on to find out what you missed.
The Future Of Auto Technician Training? Chevy Bolt Takes Green Tech Further
One of the most eagerly anticipated cars unveiled at CES was GM’s 2017 Chevrolet Bolt. The company’s first electric vehicle in almost 20 years didn’t disappoint, boasting a 60kWh battery with an impressive 200hp and 266lb-ft torque, and an acceleration of 0-100km in just 7 seconds.
More significantly for those considering auto service technician careers, the Bolt has a 200-mile (321km) range, and is priced at just $42,840. Range and affordability have long been among the most important factors preventing the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. If the Bolt changes that, the impact on mechanic careers could be huge.
BMW i8 Spyder: How Onboard Tech Is Changing Auto Technician Training
As onboard technology changes the way cars are being built and repaired, auto technician training students need to keep an eye on the latest developments, and BMW is often at the forefront of new innovations. At CES 2016, the German auto giant presented a doorless i8 Spyder concept to showcase its new iVision Future Interaction technology.
The vehicle is loaded with exciting features, including the company’s innovative Airtouch gesture control system, which uses sensors to recognize a driver’s hand movements without any physical interaction with the screen surface. The dashboard displays information on three different screens: a head-up display, a 3D instrument cluster, and a 21-inch panoramic screen. BMW also showcased mirrorless technology for the i8, in which three cameras replace the rearview mirror to better highlight blind spots.
See the BMW i8 Spyder at CES 2016 here:
Kia Drive Wise: Self-Driving Cars & Your Automotive Technician Future
Self-driving cars were big news at this year’s event, with Ford announcing expansion of its autonomous vehicle research, and Toyota demonstrating artificial intelligence which prevents crashes using miniature models.
Kia made the biggest splash, however, as the automaker announced ambitious plans for Drive Wise, a new sub-brand specializing exclusively in the area. Kia also demonstrated its new Highway Autonomous Driving system, which includes lane-changing and overtaking functions, and Urban Autonomous Driving, which uses traffic updates to navigate cities. Kia is aiming to produce partially autonomous vehicles by 2020, and fully autonomous models by 2030.
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