Automakers Show Off Technology at CES 2018

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If you still call the annual January tech gathering in Las Vegas the Consumer Electronics Show, you missed the memo. The show is now called just CES 2018, but that didn’t alter the desire for automakers to bring new vehicles and concepts to Sin City.

As far as we know, no automaker has followed Kodak’s lead and announced a new cryptocurrency, nor has one added the word “blockchain” to its name. There are still a few show days to go, however, so don’t dismiss the possibility yet.

In the real world, Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) is touting the self-driving (autonomous) car technology it acquired when it purchased Mobileye. The semiconductor giant has settled on a theme of building passenger trust in driverless cars. This may not have been the best time for Intel to put its eggs in the trust basket.

Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) has announced deals for driverless technology with Volkswagen and Uber, and Qualcomm Corp. (NASDAQ: QCOM) will work with Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) on “cellular vehicle-to-everything … technology with the most potential to allow the cars and cities of the future to communicate quickly, safely and securely.”

Among carmakers, Kia announced that its fleet will include 16 electrified vehicle models by 2025. The company debuted its Kia Niro EV, an all-electric passenger car with a 238-mile range that competes with both the Chevy Bolt from General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and the Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) Model 3. Kia also plans to a mass-market fuel-cell vehicle by 2020. The company has offered no delivery date for the Niro EV, however.

Hyundai showed a fuel-cell vehicle that could replace its existing Tucson SUV by 2020. The vehicle’s expected 500-mile range and $50,000 estimated price tag are not out of line with other vehicles in the category.

Fisker showed off its EMotion luxury sedan on Tuesday. The all-electric vehicle will come with a 400-mile range, a top speed of 161 mph, and all-wheel drive. No word on price, but we’re thinking around the price of a Tesla Model S.

China is represented by an all-but-unknown maker, Byton, that is showing off an all-electric Smart Intuitive Vehicle (SIV) that could be selling in China next year and in other markets in 2020. The price is reportedly $45,000.

Daimler has not given up on its smart brand yet and presented a concept called the Smart Vision EQ ForTwo, a two-seat, self-driving, electric vehicle that resembles a luxury model golf cart. But with no need for impediments like pedals and steering wheel, the vehicle looks surprisingly roomy.

Neither GM nor Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) showed off anything new, but their executives were on hand at CES.

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