CES 2021: Improving user experience

GM reveals mobility concepts, Mercedes-Benz shows updated MBUX, BMW previews iDrive



  CES 2021 was held as an online exhibition from January 11 through January 14, 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Approximately 2,000 companies, including approximately 700 startups, held virtual exhibits in the digital exhibition space. CES 2021 also hosted more than 100 hours of programming, including keynote speeches, panel discussions and company presentations. The exhibition's opening keynote was given by General Motors CEO Mary Barra and highlighted the company's plans to transition to a zero-emission future.

  While GM focused primarily on electric vehicles, it showed two unique mobility concepts under the Cadillac brand consisting of an autonomous pod and a VTOL drone (vertical take-off and landing). GM also announced its BrightDrop electric mobility ecosystem including its EP1 last-mile delivery unit. In contrast to the concepts and future models shown by GM, FCA's virtual exhibit showcased current technology, such as the fifth generation of its Uconnect user experience platform, found in a number of current and upcoming vehicle models.

Mercedes-Benz MBUX Hyperscreen
Mercedes-Benz MBUX Hyperscreen
Image Source: Mercedes-Benz

  Mercedes-Benz unveiled the MBUX Hyperscreen infotainment system at CES 2021, three years after it debuted the original MBUX system at CES 2018. The MBUX Hyperscreen will be featured in future Mercedes-Benz EQ models, including the EQS sedan which is expected to launch in the first half of 2021. BMW previewed its next-generation iDrive infotainment system, while Audi showed the Audi AI:ME and its human-centric interior lighting system concept.

  Automotive suppliers displayed an array of technologies aimed to improve user experience. Visteon, Continental, Bosch and Gentex featured a variety of automotive displays and screens. As with major OEMs, a number of suppliers, including Aisin, Mando and Continental, displayed vehicle concepts which promoted unique mobility applications. Finally, Aptiv and Visteon showcased new infotainment systems based on Android OS.

  This report is the second in a series of reports focusing on the automotive content shown at CES 2021. This report will highlight technologies optimizing user experience including automotive displays, infotainment systems and innovative mobility units showcased by OEMs and automotive suppliers.

Related reports:
CES 2021: EV and electrification technologies (Feb. 2021)
CEATEC 2020 - Future HMI and communications: Aerial displays, high-speed precision data processing (Dec. 2020)
Automatic Shuttle Buses - From the Test Track to Schedule Services (Dec. 2020)
Autonomous, connectivity and HMI activities of Western suppliers - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. (Oct. 2020)
CES 2020: Changing the in-vehicle experience (Feb. 2020)

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