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Automotive @ CES 2023 January 5, 2023

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BMW Unveils i Vision Dee Concept With Voice Assistant.

Bloomberg (1/4, Eckl-Dorna) reports BMW showcased its i Vision Dee concept car at CES, which “could well preview Apple Inc.’s future car: drivers have zero buttons and switches with a super-sleek interior where the windshield acts as a giant voice-controlled display.” Among other features, drivers can select “five levels of information to be displayed, ranging from basics like speed to augmented reality with navigation cues projected on the road.” While on the road, “short social media messages can pop up on the side.” The German automaker’s “version of Amazon’s Alexa, named Dee, is meant to provide additional assistance.” As the driver approaches the car, “Dee registers her identity, opens the door automatically and can express moods such as joy or astonishment with visual cues on the grille and headlights.”

Wired (1/4, Charlton) says, “Having first heavily experimented with its own voice-control system, then somewhat inevitably switched to Alexa, undeterred BMW is now once again going its own way with voice tech (well, thinking about it, anyway.)” The idea “is for Dee to act like other voice assistants but also integrate tightly with a next-generation HUD capable of occupying the entire windshield, not just the small patch of glass that today’s systems project onto.”

The Verge (1/4, George) says Dee “stands for ?Digital Emotional Experience,’” and it is “one of BMW’s most radical – yet, in some ways, plausible – concept cars in years.” The Verge adds, “Think the metaverse or Amazon Alexa but in sport sedan form.”

TechCrunch (1/4, Bellan) says, “Ever since the ?software-defined vehicle’ began to take hold, automakers have been angling for new ways to use that software to create a more personalized experience for drivers and passengers.” Each year, CES provides an array of examples. In 2021, “it was all about Amazon Fire streaming coming to vehicles and Google Home integrations,” and “this year it seems to be about in-car gaming.” However, “BMW is taking it up a notch by positing not just an emotional connection between human and car, but also a car that has emotions of its own.”

Additional coverage includes Autoblog (1/4) and the BMW Blog (1/4, DeMattia).

Sony And Honda Reveal Joint EV “Afeela.”

TechCrunch (1/4, Bellan) reports Sony and Honda unveiled a prototype of their joint EV “Afeela” at CES. The first preorders of the new vehicle are scheduled to begin in first half of 2025, with sales beginning the same year, and the first shipments to North American customers are set for spring 2026. The car will be manufactured in Honda’s North America factory and feature level 3 automated driving capabilities under limited conditions. Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida talked about the company’s mobility philosophy, which is focused on building vehicles with autonomous capabilities that are transformed into moving entertainment spaces. Yoshida said Afeela will feature best-in-class entertainment, explaining, “In addition to movies, games, and music, we envision a new in-cabin experience using our expertise of UX and the UI technologies.”

Additional coverage is provided by Digital Trends (1/4), Reuters (1/4, Staff), the AP (1/5), CNN (1/4, Valdes-Dapena), Inverse (1/4), and Car and Driver (1/4).

Samsung Introduces Ready Care Smart-Car System.

ZDNet (1/4, Darby) reports that at CES in Las Vegas, Samsung unveiled “its plan to launch a smart-car safety platform with subsidiary Harman international.” The intelligent car system “will be called ICX and will utilize Harman Ready Care.” Ready Care’s features “include a machine learning algorithm, using sensors to measure driver drowsiness and provide tailored interventions, according to Harman International’s software lead and project manager, Marcus Futterleib.” The Ready Care system can also “pair with Samsung’s wearables, like a Smart Watch, to check drivers’ vitals and sense their stress levels.”

Also reporting are TechCrunch (1/4, Bellan) and Forbes (1/4, Sparrow).

Holoride Unveils New Device To Make Any Vehicle VR-Ready.

TechCrunch (1/4, Korosec) reports Audi-backed Holoride unveiled at CES 2023 a new device, about the size of a smart speaker which “can be retrofitted into any vehicle to make it VR ready.” Currently, Holoride’s in-car VR technology is only available in select Audi vehicles. The new device “mounts via a suction cup on a vehicle’s windshield,” and a $799 package comes with the hardware, HTC VIVE Flow headset, safety strap, and one-year subscription to the Holoride platform. The hardware can also be bought standalone for $199. Holoride CEO Nils Wollny said in a statement, “The release of our Holoride retrofit kicks off a new chapter in Holoride’s journey. Our vision of delivering a manufacturer-agnostic entry point into the ?Motorverse’ has finally arrived.”

Qualcomm Announces Next-Generation Snapdragon Ride Flex For Automotive Central Compute.

Forbes (1/4, Abuelsamid) reports at CES in Las Vegas, Qualcomm “is officially launching the next generation of its automotive system-on-a-chip (SoC), the Snapdragon Ride Flex.” The introduction “comes three years after the original Snapdragon Ride platform was introduced at CES,” with “that system is now in production in the Cadillac Lyriq.” The Ride platform “is targeted at advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving systems (ADS).” The Snapdragon Ride Flex “adds in functionality from the Snapdragon Cockpit and the ability to virtualize and run multiple different operating systems with different levels of criticality.” Qualcomm “has already pre-integrated its Snapdragon Ride Vision software stack with the Flex SoC” in an effort to “give automakers a head start in implementing new ADAS and ADS systems on future products.”

Stellantis To Mass Produce Archer’s Electric Aircraft.

TechCrunch (1/4, Korosec) reports Stellantis announced during CES 2023 that it will mass produce an electric vehicle takeoff and landing aircraft for Archer Aviation, making Stellantis the “exclusive contract manufacturer for Archer’s Midnight eVTOL aircraft.” The companies plan to begin manufacturing the aircraft in 2024 at a recently announced manufacturing facility in Covington, Georgia. Stellantis also said it plans to increase strategic shareholding in Archer through future stock purchases on the open market.