Las Vegas? The first thing most people probably think of when they hear the name is gambling casinos, desert and Elvis. Well now it’s time for something else! And that’s CES, an event that defines technology topics of the future and that Volkswagen, Audi and CARIAD attended last January.
Las Vegas? The first thing most people probably think of when they hear the name is gambling casinos, desert and Elvis. The fact that an event has already taken place in this city since 1998, an event that defines the technology topics of the future year after year, is probably better known to insiders. The Consumer Electronic Show, or CES for short, has undergone an enormous transformation since the first CES was held back in 1967 in New York City. While the inaugural event had some 100 exhibitors and attracted in the region of 17,000 visitors, the exhibition in Las Vegas in 2020 – so before the global pandemic – surpassed these figures by a multitude: 4,400 exhibiting companies and more than 170,000 visitors. And even though there were noticeably fewer tech companies and start-ups (namely 3,200) at the most recent event last January and also fewer tech enthusiasts (115,000), this still represented an extremely positive trend following the coronavirus years. The technology innovations on display were as innovative and smart as ever, and in some instances very surprising.
Volkswagen: World première of the new ID.7¹⁾
At the CES in Las Vegas, the Volkswagen Group of America showcased its first all-electric saloon based on the modular electric drive matrix (MEB). The stage was set: the camouflaged ID.7¹⁾ made an eye-catching appearance in a digital design – featuring unique paintwork that allows the vehicle to light up interactively. This effect is created by 40 layers of paint, some of which are conductive while others have insulating properties. A total of 22 areas of the vehicle can be controlled separately and are electrified below the top layer of paint (electroluminescence) so that they light up. If all of this is connected to a sound system, the rhythm is visualised by illumination of individual areas. And this was also the case at CES.
In terms of style, the ID.7¹⁾ follows the design language of the fully electric ID. model family. The characteristic features of the saloon include the aerodynamic front section and roof, which help to reduce energy consumption and increase the range. Air intakes located in the front end guide the air flowing through them purposefully down the sides of the vehicle to the rear. In this way, they form an air curtain, which calms the air flow at the sides of the vehicle. The roof slopes to the rear and thus contributes to the very good drag coefficient of the ID.7. The range is up to around 700 kilometres²⁾ (WLTP).
Audi: turning the car into a virtual reality experience
The brand with the four rings had a surprise of its own at CES. Audi is the first car manufacturer in the world to offer an interface in selected models to virtual reality entertainment by holoride³⁾ – the provider of “Elastic Content”, an innovative entertainment format in vehicles. Behind holoride is a new technology that adapts the virtual content to the car’s driving movements in real time. If the vehicle takes a right turn, the passengers experience in virtual reality, for instance, how a spaceship in the virtual world also flies to the right. If the car accelerates, the spaceship speeds up, meaning a ride in the car becomes a multimodal gaming experience through the combination of vehicle movements and environmental data.³⁾
To enjoy the holoride experience, passengers need the optionally available “Pioneers’ Pack” starter kit and a holoride-capable Audi vehicle: to find out which models are included, click here: www.audi.de/de/brand/de/service-zubehoer/connect/holoride.html (German language).
CARIAD: For the first time in Las Vegas
The technical requirements for lighting up the Volkswagen ID.7¹⁾ and using holoride³⁾ in selected Audi models was developed together with CARIAD, the Volkswagen Group’s automotive software company. Exhibiting for the first time at the CES, CARIAD not only showcased innovative solutions, but also presented its new tech hubs in Silicon Valley and the Greater Seattle area. Since 1 January 2023, around 300 CARIAD employees have been working at the two sites on topics like the automotive cloud, digital experience and automated driving. Further highlights at the CARIAD booth were the tech talks: CARIAD experts presented their envisaged pathway to automated driving at Level 3 and 4, explained the tech platform for the software-defined car and gave insights into future in-car infotainment with gaming, health and well-being features.
News on the topic
1)Camouflaged near-production concept vehicle – The vehicle will not be available for sale.
²⁾Forecast range for the completion of cycles in accordance with the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) on the rolling test bed (not series production version). WLTP range values for series production vehicles may differ depending on the equipment. In practice, the actual range will deviate depending on the driving style, speed, use of convenience/auxiliary consumers, outdoor temperature, number of passengers/load and topography.
³⁾For the latest information on the availability of holoride in certain vehicles and regions, refer to the website: www.audi.de/de/brand/de/service-zubehoer/connect/holoride.html (German language)
© Volkswagen AG