CES – When cars change color

For several years now, the car industry has occupied technology fairs to show what vehicles will be able to do in the future. BMW presented an eye-catcher at this year’s consumer show CES with its concept car, “Dee”, whereby the abbreviation stands for “Digital Emotional Experience”. A technology with which the car can change its exterior color is intended to create beautiful feelings. 32 shades are available. Inside, a digital display serves as an eye-catcher, which can extend over the entire windscreen.

When the front window becomes a cinema screen

You can switch from normal, analog optics to augmented reality to complete virtual reality. Individual elements can therefore be displayed on the windshield, or the front window can be turned into an opaque screen on which films can be watched. The idea is not entirely new. In 2015, Dieter Zetsche, then Daimler boss, presented a model vehicle at the CES in which the window panes could be transformed into displays. BMW now asserts that the Dee is not just another show car. Rather, the first BMW models technically based on Dee should come onto the market in 2025.

Car manufacturers are facing completely new challenges

In addition to BMW, many other major car brands were also present at CES. VW introduced the new electric sedan ID7. Mercedes wants to set up its own network of e-charging stations. And there was also new competition – Sony and Honda, for example, want to sell electric cars together from 2026. Because it turns out that there is now much more to building a car than it was ten or 15 years ago. Mercedes technology boss Markus Schäfer explains that you have to dig into completely new fields, software is crucial, battery technology, but also an entire ecosystem for the customer including charging stations that have to be available nationwide.

TU Munich successful in AI car race

Artificial intelligence is now also part of car development. It will play a central role in future autonomous vehicles. In a competition for self-driving racing cars on the sidelines of the technology trade fair in Las Vegas, the team from the Technical University of Munich has now taken second place – for the second time in a row. The winner was a group of researchers from Milan’s Politecnico di Milano and the University of Alabama. The vehicle from Munich managed speeds of more than 250 kilometers per hour. The exciting thing about the competition: all teams entered the race with completely identical vehicles. The only difference is the software that is inside and controls the vehicles, for example when overtaking, like here in this video you can see.

Washing machine filters out microplastics

The CES has always been a trade fair for consumer electronics. That’s why many companies use the show to show their new products for the home. This time there was a washing machine that filters microplastics from clothing, a giant wireless television and a sensor for the toilet that uses artificial intelligence to examine urine for diseases.

Where AI was just another big topic of the CES. This is the decisive technology of our time – which is changing industries, says Microsoft manager Panos Panay. Computers would not only become more intelligent with AI, but also more personal. Rumor has it that Microsoft is working on the well-known Language model GPT3 to integrate into its search engine Bing.

Satellite radio wants to wipe out white spots

Anyone who is out and about in the mountains may be familiar with the situation. In remote areas there is no reception and therefore no possibility to quickly send a call for help in an emergency. This is where a consortium comes in, which includes the companies Motorola, Bullitt Group and MediaTek. After two years of development, the group has now announced at CES a service called Bullitt Satellite Connect that sends text messages over an existing satellite network (which one is still unclear). A hardware module developed by the consortium can allegedly be built into normal smartphones. But Bullitt also wants to release its own cell phone at the end of February, in which the service and the hardware are already integrated. Messages can then be sent to all other mobile phone subscribers who receive them as SMS.

There is a satellite network for five euros

According to one Test by heise.de messages take between half a minute and a minute to reach the recipient. The system is not yet suitable for telephoning. The prices of the paid service are already fixed. There are various packages, such as a basic tariff for just under five euros, with which up to 30 messages can be sent per month. Other companies are also working on solutions to integrate satellite radio into as many smartphones as possible. This also includes the manufacturer Qualcomm, whose microchips are already installed in many smartphones.

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