CES Shanghai Roundup: GM Apple Watch App, VW Gestures, Self-Driving Audi & Ford SYNC 3

Although automakers don’t offer the exact same cars in other parts of the world as they do in China, what is being shown at CES Shanghai can be an indication of connected cars in the rest of the world.


OnStar Apple Watch App from GM

GM’s Cadillac Shanghai OnStar is showing China’s first 4G LTE telematics with Wi-Fi hotsport service along with the CarLife app, the MyCadillac app and an OnStar Apple Watch app at CES Asia. The CarLife app, show vehicle service information from a user’s smartphone onto the vehicle’s touchscreen. It supports various mobile device operating systems, including Android and iOS. We suspect that an Apple Watch app OnStar app will be coming to GM cars in the U.S.

Gesture Controls on Next VW Golf

At CES Las Vegas, we saw several demos of gesture control and the concept Golf R Touch which is also be demoed at CES Asia Shanghai. Powertrain chief Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neusser said that upcoming new Golf will include gesture control technology when it  arrives by the end of 2016 “The gesture control will become reality in the Golf at the end of next year.” The cabin will be “button-less” with function completed with gesture controls on digital displays with haptic feedback. This will lead the way for more gesture control of Volkswagen models. The Golf R Touch concept showed at CES Asia has a 13-inch touchscreen and a completely digital instrument panel that could be set to display various functions when needed.

IHS Global Automotive Forecast for “Basic Gesture Recognition” is 22K unit sales in 2015 4.3M unit sales in 2021.

Audi R8 Auto-piloted & 279.6 Mile-Charge

Audi-R8Audi is showing the electric sports car the Audi R8 e-tron piloted driving technical concept car at CES Shanghai.

The T-shaped battery high-voltage battery is based on a new lithium-ion technology that is specifically designed for the drive system of an all-electric vehicle with a total of 92 kWh of power for a range of 279.6 miles. It features a Combined Charging System (CCS) which allows charging with direct and alternating current.

The R8 e-tron is equipped with piloted driving. Data is received from a new type of laser scanner, several video cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radar sensors at the front and rear. The central driver assistance control unit (zFAS) computes a comprehensive picture of the vehicle’s environment.primarily as a high-tech mobile laboratory.

We suspect this super-electric autonomous car will be self-driving to trade shows around the world and may end up at CES in Las Vegas in January. Audi is targeting the luxury Tesla S market. Audi constantly markets its auto-pilot features.

Ford My Energi Lifestyle, SYNC 3 & Emergency Services

Ford announced GoDrive car-sharing in London and MyEnergi Lifestyle pilot program in Shanghai and Beijing, to show the real world impact of energy saving products. MyEnergi Lifestyle is a model that showcases how combining renewable energy sources, efficient home appliances and a plug-in vehicle can significantly reduce families’ energy costs and carbon footprint.

CESshangahaiFord is also showing SYNC 3 with faster performance, more conversational voice commands, a more intuitive touchscreen and an easier-to-understand interface to help customers control their in-car entertainment, climate settings, smartphone and more.

Ford added enhancements to Emergency Assistance, Ford’s subscription-free emergency service. In the event of a collision where the airbag deploys or the fuel pump shut-off switch is activated, an emergency call is placed with GPS coordinates. Ford will provide additional life-saving information, such as the type of crash (front, side, rear or rollover), safety belt usage as detected by the vehicle, awareness of whether multiple impacts occurred and whether airbags were deployed.

Visitors to the Ford booth at CES Asia will can demo Ford AppLink, SYNC 3, get up close and personal with the new Ford GT supercar, and participate in a virtual reality SYNC 2 experience powered by Oculus Rift.

Ford has already announced SYNC 3 for U.S. and showed the Ford GT supercar at the New York Auto Show.  In the U.S., Ford offers 911 assist via a Bluetooth connected phone that can tell emergency responders maximum change in velocity during impact, indication of crash type (front, side, rear or rollover), safety belt usage as detected by the vehicle, awareness of whether multiple impacts occurred and whether airbags were deployed. For MyEnergi Lifestyle has been in the U.S. since 2013. Ford appears to be keeping its latest tech for the U.K. and U.S.

It appears that CES offers world automakers the opportunity to show off their latest connected car tech.