CES 2021 was unlike any trade show we've ever experienced. Due to Covid-19, it was "all digital," which really meant "mostly websites." To find the hot stuff this year, we didn't wander the millions of square feet of the Las Vegas Convention Center and surrounding facilities, but instead watched streamed presentations, combed through hundreds of exhibitors' "digital activations" and, of course, heard plenty of pitches from entrepreneurs and marketing folks eager to keep us in the loop--global pandemic or not. That means we weren't able to touch and feel the innovations like in years past--although we did get some stuff sent to our homes. Still, it hasn't stopped us from bringing you the craziest, coolest and kookiest gadgets we could find.
General Motors has inched slightly closer to fulfilling its quest to put the world in flying cars. As part of the 2021 virtual Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday, GM showed renderings and animation of what it dubbed its Cadillac Halo concepts: the Cadillac Personal Autonomous Vehicle, which is like a fancy self-driving taxi, and Cadillac Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) vehicle, a sleek and futuristic drone-like flying car. "The VTOL is GM's first foray into air travel," said Michael Simcoe, GM's vice president of global design. Advances in electric vehicles and other technology are now "making personal air travel possible," he said. Simcoe's presentation came in the middle of GM CEO Mary Barra's keynote address to CES, the annual exhibition normally held in Las Vegas that features the latest technology.
The last time I wasn't in Las Vegas for CES, the iPhone didn't exist yet. A virtual show means that this year the Engadget team is experiencing things more like our readers. The upside is that it's easier to get a broad view of everything going on, and I didn't have to figure out how to pack a PS5 in my luggage. The downside is I'm not seeing any sweet new TVs in person. It's the smallest of sacrifices, but being able to hop on live video and chat/argue with the team over our favorite picks is helping to fill the gaps.
CES, the world's largest tech show, is quite something to behold. Or it would be if you could actually behold it in person. Almost inconceivably sprawling in its pre-pandemic incarnations, the industry extravaganza spanned the entire Las Vegas Convention Center, the nearby Sands Expo and chunks of a dozen or more hotels up and down the Strip. It was like a Disneyland for tech: Since I started covering the annual January event in 2001, I've fired a computer-assisted sniper rifle, attended a Tesla-coil music concert, hitched a ride in self-driving vehicles and met countless robots. I once took the controls of a Fujifilm blimp midflight.
New York (CNN Business)Disinfectant gadgets, next-generation fitness equipment and robots that help you cook dinner. Those are a few of the countless new products expected to be unveiled next week at the Consumer Electronics Show, the annual splashy tech conference that typically sets the tone for the biggest trends of the year. Home automation, health and 5G will once again be buzzy topics, but many companies will also introduce pandemic-specific features to reflect our increased time at home. Each year, reporters, exhibitors and investors typically explore Las Vegas showrooms filled with giant TVs, smart cars and robots fixing martinis, but CES will be online only for the first time in its 54-year history due to Covid-19. The Consumer Electronics Association, the nonprofit behind the four-day event starting Monday, said 1,800 exhibitors from around the world will fill its "digital venue" this year -- a number that's down significantly from 4,000 in-person exhibitors last year.
The hot topics expected to dominate the 2021 CES show, kicking off officially Monday, may sound familiar. But the annual high-tech mecca where most of the biggest names in electronics, telecommunications and software show off new products will be anything but. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to afflict the nation, hundreds of thousands of attendees will not descend on Las Vegas to ogle super-thin OLED displays or listen to the latest advances in audio. Instead, this year's CES will more likely resemble a videoconferencing meetup in Zoom or Microsoft Teams – but on steroids. Exhibitors such as LG and Sony and will show off their wares virtually with high production-quality presentations for retailers, analysts and media, all connected online. CES 2021:LG's new QNED TVs add Mini LEDs for stunning 2021 lineup Hundreds of smaller, startup tech firms will still use the multi-day event, which runs through Thursday, to unveil projects and plans to pique the interest of consumers, as well as investors.
Last year's CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, marked the last time for a long time many of us would be chatting face-to-face, exchanging invisible respiratory droplets, handling the same germy gadgets, and enjoying food and drinks in windowless restaurants. This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, the annual CES takes place entirely on our computer screens. The first-ever completely remote staging of the consumer tech industry's tentpole event starts on Monday, January 11. Experiencing CES from afar poses some obvious challenges for those of us reporting on the show. We can't stroll the nearly 3 million square feet of expo hall space or actually try the new products being showcased.
Lyft has completed more than 100,000 self-driving rides in Las Vegas over the last few years. Now, the company has revealed plans to bring fully driverless cars to multiple cities in the US, starting in 2023. The Las Vegas rides have taken place with a safety driver at the wheel, ready to take over in an emergency. Motional, which is a joint venture between Aptiv and Hyundai, is Lyft's partner on that project (formerly under the Aptiv banner). It recently received permission to test autonomous vehicles on Nevada's roads without safety drivers in cars, and it plans to do so in the coming months.
Las Vegas has long been the only place where you can request a Lyft ride and be greeted by a self-driving car. But on Wednesday, Lyft and autonomous car company Motional announced driverless taxis will ferry passengers around more cities starting in 2023. For the past three years, self-driving BMWs with sensors and cameras on top were only available in Las Vegas as part of a pilot program. A safety driver was always in the car and trips were limited to certain parts of the Nevada city. Earlier this year Lyft's self-driving partner in Vegas, Aptiv, joined forces with Hyundai Motor Group to launch Motional, an autonomous driving joint venture. The self-driving cars in Vegas were rebranded as Motional cars in October.
Amazon's autonomous vehicle company, Zoox, unveiled its self-driving car that brings it one step closer to unleashing a fleet of robotaxis. The electric, fully driverless vehicle is designed as a'carriage-style car that sits four passengers facing each other and is the first in the industry that is capable of operating up to 75 miles per hour. It is equipped with two battery packs that provide the vehicle with up to 16 continuous hours on a single charge. Zoox plans to soon launch an app for its future ride-hailing service in major cities across the US including San Francisco and Las Vegas. Amazon's autonomous vehicle company, Zoox, unveiled its self-driving car that brings it one step closer to unleashing a fleet of robotaxis Aicha Evans, Zoox Chief Executive Office, said: 'Revealing our functioning and driving vehicle is an exciting milestone in our company's history and marks an important step on our journey towards deploying an autonomous ride-hailing service.' 'We are transforming the rider experience to provide superior mobility-as-a-service for cities.' 'And as we see the alarming statistics around carbon emissions and traffic accidents, it's more important than ever that we build a sustainable, safe solution that allows riders to get from point A to point B.' The four-wheeled vehicle is just 11 feet long, features four seats inside the carriage-style design and has one of the smallest footprints in the industry, claims Zoox.