In the fascinating world of auto, no dream is too big, no idea unreachable, and no design too weird. As technology continues to advance at an incredible rate, so does the future of cars and driving. And as more concept cars come to the surface, we are seeing unique designs that look almost futuristic and otherworldly, not to mention the incredible over-the-top amenities designed to give you experiences and rides like never before. In fact, the Renault’s EZ-ULTIMO self-driving car is actually made to feel as if you were stepping into a living room, and even comes with a comfortable, lightweight armchair for the ride. But this year, we got an inside look at the CES show to upcoming car models and designs that seem too good to be true.
The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, is held in January every year at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada and has been running for about five decades now (1). The show is put on by the Consumer Technology Association and showcases some of the most inspiring and innovative technology work across multiple industries. The car industry, however, was a wild success this year and modeled some of the most extreme designs we have seen yet. Here are some of our top head-turner concept cars from the 2020 show this past January.
The Sony Vision-S concept car stunned the crowd with its incredibly advanced technologies and connected car platform (2). Now you may be wondering, is Sony really entering the car building business? Sony?! The answer is, no. Sony does not plan to enter car manufacturing anytime soon, but what better way to show off their new innovations than by putting them into a fully built supercar? The exterior and interior were kept minimal to highlight more of the technology features rather than the car itself. The car has almost a Tesla look to it with its smooth curves, completely open skylight, and neutral interior.
This car is packed with never before seen technologies that can be implemented into new electric vehicles. As electric cars continue to rise and self-driving cars are becoming a way of the future, Sony took action to provide makers with an incredible advantage. The Sony Vision-S comes with about 33 sensors embedded around the car, in what Sony refers to as a ‘Safety Cocoon’ to detect other vehicles, pedestrians, or other obstacles.
The interior comes with an incredible 360 Reality Audio that offers an extremely unique sound experience. In order to give you the best sound experience, the car has sensors on the interior to detect where people are sitting in the car. From there. It gives you a unique sound experience for you and each of your passengers. It also has a complete display dashboard made up of about five screens, and one touch screen on the center console – showcasing their technologies and how one could interact with the car.
Sony released that they already have a number of partnerships with Japanese car manufacturing companies, and soon we could see this kind of connected car technology works its way into new cars on the market. This is one that us, as well as car manufacturers around the world will be keeping their eyes on for the future.
Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR
Seem like something that drove out of the movie Avatar? Well then you would be correct. Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR, which stands for Advanced Vehicle Transformation, was built in collaboration with the movie Avatar, a 2009 James Cameron film (3). This forward-thinking concept car works to blur the lines between man and machine, giving the driver a completely immersive experience. This beautiful car is fully electric and runs on completely organic matter – that means no nickel or cobalt. In fact, the batteries are designed to be completely recyclable and much less damaging on the environment than electric car batteries today.
The exterior is an extremely sleek design with bright blue accents and lights similar to that seen in the movie Avatar. The four wheels emit a bright blue light and can pivot, allowing the car to move forward, backwards, and sideways. The back hatch is covered in 33 ‘bionic flaps’ that move in different directions and have cameras included inside as an added safety feature. The interior is completely bizarre in that there is no steering wheel, gear shift, controls, or anything. It is a simple white interior, clear glass doors and windows, and a small pad on the center that allows for driving and shifting. The interior can also read your pulse, sense breathing, a has a huge display of the outside world.
Is this a new preview model for Mercedes-Benz? Probably not. But it does give us an incredible look into how vehicles can and should be manufactured in the future. With the rise of self-driving vehicles, the future of actually driving seems to be fuzzy. This new concept car could provide us with a new way to enjoy automotive in a new capacity. A full immersive capacity.
Jeep 4xe Plug-In Hybrids
Loved by all, the Jeep name has always been a powerhouse in the auto world. Built for reliability and off-roading adventures, the Jeep offers practicality and luxury for the modern day explorer (4). At the CES show in January, we were hit with Jeep’s first electric hybrid concept car – a path Jeep too hopes to conquer in the near future. The goal is to eventually offer electrified version of all Jeep cars from hybrid eTorque engines to fully electric vehicles, with electrified powertrain options available to all Jeep models by 2022. Later this year, Jeep will launch a new half step in the right direction with its Jeep 4xe model which will allow for a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Although the Jeep 4xe shares the same body model as their gas counterparts, there are some differentiating features to the exterior. There are a blue accents throughout the exterior including the tow hooks, Jeep badges, and Trail-Rated logo outlines in blue – a clean look against the cars dark grey exterior. While we don’t know too many details yet about the Jeep, we thankfully don’t need to wait too much longer to get the details we’ve been craving. Jeep plans to roll this model out onto the market later this year for consumers.