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Las Vegas CES... where electric dreams come true

By Nick Francis Published

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IT was once the reserve of technology giants who made the trip to Las Vegas to show off new tellies and laptops.

Now, the annual Consumer Electronics Show is officially the most bananas festival of moving metal.

Arguably one of the biggest talking points this year was the Faraday Future FF91, above, an all-electric production vehicle which uses numerous powerful electric motors to propel it from 0-60mph in just 2.39 seconds.

That will make it the fastest-accelerating electric car when it goes on sale in 2018, giving Tesla something to think about. And yet it still manages a claimed 378 miles on a single charge, despite its motors delivering more than 1,050bhp at full chat.

READ: DRIVERS TAKE ON GAMERS ON VIRTUAL TRACK

Meanwhile, Nissan continues to steam ahead with its autonomous driving programme and has announced a major breakthrough in the form of SAM.

Seamless Autonomous Mobility is the result of a partnership with Nasa and sees vehicles with built-in artificial intelligence use human support when it’s time to make a difficult decision. It means fleets of autonomous taxis and delivery vehicles could soon be on our roads, with a team of remote “operators” on hand to help the machines tackle situations technology isn’t yet capable of – such as a fallen tree in the road or impromptu roadworks.

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If you thought that was mad, science fiction fans will be blown away by the high-concept stuff Toyota unleashed this year, with its sleek autonomous Concept-i vehicle, above.

It has been designed to be as “approachable” as possible, meaning its headlights blink and virtual welcoming messages scan across the door panels when a driver approaches. Sweet.

Yui, Toyota’s artificial intelligence technology, can develop a relationship with the driver and its occupants, suggest playlists or stopovers on a route and taking over duties when it detects the driver is getting tired.

BMW owners looking to upgrade their motors may want to take a look at the German marque’s plans for its cockpits, which could soon offer holographic menu screens that the driver physically reaches out and controls, without actually touching.

Confused? Well, HoloActive Touch display system sees a free-floating virtual display hover above the centre console.

The system is operated directly by finger movements, while an ultrasound source provides tactile confirmation of the driver’s commands.

It’s a big trend with manufacturers. VW had a similar system in I-Cockpit – and most companies have hinted they will soon do away with the buttons and dials that litter interiors and replace them with touch-screens and holograms.

READ: DRIVERS TAKE ON GAMERS ON VIRTUAL TRACK
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