CES 2022: What did automakers unveil on the first day?
The first day of CES 2022 showcased plenty of innovation from automakers, evident signs of increasing quality for customers and competition in the industry. Sony’s announcement of the VISION-S 02 SUV and the software-focused partnership between Stellantis and Amazon appeared to introduce new developments for the automotive industry, not to mention Chryslers's new announcement to go electric.
Other intriguing announcements came from General Motors, Volvo and BMW, respectively presenting their newest technologies in EV techology, addressing ever-increasing boundaries of performance, safety, comfort and entertainment.
The Ultium effect
General Motors, which has been investing heavily in a new generation platform for EVs, kicked off its announcements by presenting Ultium, a modular platform and battery system designed for future GM cars and trucks. GM CEO Mary Barra expects 2022 to be “a massive year for Chevrolet’s EV future”, while the Silverado EV pickup truck was revealed as a glittering example of Ultium based EV tech. Utilising the maximum number of cells on the Ultium platform, Silverado has a 645 km (400 miles) range with a full charge and a 590 kg (1,300 pounds) payload capacity.
The new models on Ultium also include Chevy Equinox EV and Chevy Blazer EV. GM will release Silverado and Blazer in 2023, while Equinox EV is to be revealed “very soon”, according to Barra.
Another bold announcement was the Cadillac InnerSpace autonomous concept, which appeared like a two-seater luxury spaceship. Enhancing the Halo Concept portfolio of Cadillac, the InnerSpace is a representation of “effortless travel through extraordinary means.” From Silverado to InnerSpace, the optimised use of battery modules on the Ultium Platform enables the adjustment of free space for all models, either for relaxation or extra cargo space.
Barra also mentioned the increasing electrification in commerce through the expansion of BrightDrop “ecosystem.” Launched a year ago, “BrigthDrop will join GM in the race to help decarbonise e-commerce, which is exploding as an industry”, added Barra.
FedEx, which received 500 BrightDrop EV600s last month, aims to add 200,000 medium-sized EV pickup and delivery vehicles towards its 2040 goal.
Ride Pilot will turn congestion into leisure
Volvo unveiled “Ride Pilot”, aiming to differentiate the automaker from its competitors in autonomous tech. Ride Pilot will operate exclusively on highways at lower speeds to offer safety and leisure to drivers and passengers during their journey by letting them read a book, eat or even sleep.
Luminar will be providing the standard Lidar equipment in Volvo Cars’ future EV models, and automotive tech company Zenseact will develop the software, additional sensors and computer system for the system.
Ride Pilot will first be available for customers in California, appearing in Volvo’s new fully electric SUV later this year. The system needs to undergo an intensive testing process and requires local permits. According to Zenseact, all Volvo customers, including those who don’t sign up for Ride Pilot, will contribute to the technology development as the sensors on their cars will send data to the platform gathered during driving.
BMW: It’s movie time
It was not just the Cadillac InnerSpace that underlined the increasing demand for comfort in future vehicles, significantly tempting customers. BMW “My Mode Theatre” screen is revealed as a 31-inch (78,74 cm) ultra-wide screen with 8K resolution that offers customers a cinema experience in their car.
Affixed to the roof, Theatre Screen uses Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound, offering an unprecedented cinema experience for backseat passengers through Fire TV (Amazon’s country-specific streaming service).
BMW defines Theatre Screen as an immersive, digital experience that turns the rear of the interior of BMW cars into a cinema lounge. With a 5G connection, passengers will have no difficulty streaming the content they want to see.
Main photo shows Chevrolet Silverado EV, courtesy of GM.
The first in-article image shows Cadillac InnerSpace, courtesy of GM.
The second in-article image shows Volvo-Luminar lidar tech, courtesy of Volvo.
The third in-article image shows the BMW Theatre Screen, courtesy of BMW.