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The Top Tech Finds for 2024

Afeela EV

It’s every technology lover’s favorite time of year: the annual CES trade show. Sponsored by the Consumer Technology Association since 1967, it highlights the best and newest advances of every stripe in the industry. This year’s show, which ran Jan. 9 to 12 in Las Vegas, was no exception.

While artificial intelligence and its applications featured prominently at CES 2024, new technology for cars and other modes of transportation also filled out the schedule.

The Next Generation of Cars

CES featured more than 600 mobility exhibitors, with displays and presentations on the ecosystem of mobility, global unveils highlighting the future of autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, micromobility, software-defined vehicles and flying cars, according to the Consumer Technology Association. Visitors also previewed the future of assistive mobility and safety systems.

Tired of struggling with tight turns? The Hyundai EV MOBION has the answer, with wheels that can turn laterally and diagonally, thanks to a new in-wheel technology. Each wheel operates independently, allowing the car to move sideways and make pivot turns. A ground projection system lights up the car’s direction on the ground, and if pedestrians are sensed, it can create crosswalk stripes for them to use.

Cars Do Fly

Up-and-coming cars do more than turn. The Chinese company XPENG AEROHT, an affiliate of XPeng, showcased its eVTOL flying car, a sleek-looking sports car one minute that transforms into a flying machine with fold-out, drone-like wings. The dual-mode cockpit is designed for driving and flying. The car uses cameras instead of side-view mirrors and has a display screen built into the dashboard. And the future is closer than you think; the company expects to start taking preorders at the end of this year and begin shipping in 2025.

Autonomous Vehicles

Self-driving cars have been getting a lot of attention recently, not all of it positive. But the Mobileye company maintains its newest self-driving technology is safer, because it integrates, cameras, radar and laser imaging, detection and ranging (lidar.)

A self-driving EV taxi is already in use. The Zoox Robotaxi, which is built in California, has been giving people lifts on a limited basis in California and Las Vegas. The car has no steering wheel and no pedals and can seat up to four people at a time. With a 133-kilowatt-hour battery, the Zoox vehicles have the power to drive all day. Passengers can charge their phones and customize their music while they ride.

More EVs Coming

With the desire to slow climate change gaining urgency, sessions addressed the gap between consumer interest in purchasing electrical vehicles and actual sales figures as well as the challenges of addressing climate change and its effect on different business sectors.

New EVs continue to roll out with more features. The AFEELA EV from Sony Honda Mobility, which made an appearance at CES, has a sleek design and an impressive onboard computer. Other highlights include 45 cameras and sensors distributed inside and outside of the car. The company expects to take orders beginning in 2025 and start North American deliveries in spring 2026.

For those who want a car with a sympathetic ear, Mercedes-Benz debuted an updated in-car virtual assistant program, called MBUX Virtual Assistant, which is powered by generative AI. It interacts with the driver using one of four emotional profiles – natural, predictive, personal and empathetic. It can store and be ready with the driver’s preferences for music, indoor temperature and other creature comforts.

Buying a New Car

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Other New Gadgets

Coming soon – a 77-inch, transparent, wireless OLED TV by LG. When the TV is on, images appear to be free floating, and when the TV is turned off, the TV vanishes – you can see through to whatever is behind. Users can slide up a screen in the back to give it the look of a regular TV.

To make life easier at home and save on space, how about a combination washer-dryer? GE has one, featuring a ventless heat pump. These types of dryers use less energy than the more common ones. And they are eligible for home energy rebates as part of the Inflation Reduction Act.

And you can expect the next generation of laptops to bring AI to your keyboard. The newest PCs with Intel’s new Core Ultra processors have neural processing units, that use machine-learning processes. This keeps work safer and completes it faster with less battery use.

Popularity Grows

This year’s CES hosted more than 4,300 exhibitors, including more than 1,400 startup companies. The event drew more than 135,000 people, with more than 40% attending from 150 countries, regions and territories outside of the U.S., setting a new record.

Are you a tech fan? What gadgets from CES 2024 do you have your eyes on?

This article is for informational purposes only. AAA does not endorse any of the products mentioned.

Featured image: Sony Honda Mobility unveiled the new AFEELA EV at this year’s CES. Photo courtesy of Consumer Technology Association.


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