The concept cars get all the attention at CES–Audi’s AI:ME, Sony’s Vision S, and Mercedes’ Avatar-inspired vision–but it’s the technology inside and outside these cars that is coming soon to a street near you.

Software companies, hardware companies and car makers are working together more closely than ever to completely transform automobiles. These partnerships are improving safety, connectivity, and building an infrastructure for smart vehicles.

SEE: CES 2020: The big trends for business (ZDNet)

Check out this news about ecockpits, vehicle-to-infrastructure technology, and safety from CES 2020.


Carmakers and tech companies are revamping the driver’s seat with voice technology, iris scans, and other new interfaces.

At CES 2020, Cerence showed how voice recognition and head tracking can be used together to open windows and doors. These button-free controls use voice recognition, gaze detection, touch, and gesture to create a natural, human-like in-car experience. The demo also included intelligent voice traffic notifications that leverage natural language generation to assist drivers with route selection.

Bosch has made the sun visor smart with a camera and a transparent liquid crystal display. The Bosch Virtual Visor blocks only the portion of the visor where the sun would strike the driver’s eyes while leaving the rest of the visor transparent. This improves visibility for the driver and automates adjustments to the visor, allowing the driver to focus on the road.

Also at CES 2020, EyeLock announced that SiriusXM will use the company’s iris authentication tech to safeguard its new mobile e-wallet. The in-car platform lets drivers pay tolls, purchase gas, or stop at the drive-through without reaching for a wallet.
Drivers use voice commands or a touch screen to start an e-wallet transaction and then an iris scan verifies the request. The custom EyeLock prototype will be placed in the visor of the car, allowing for the authentication of the driver, and other passengers that are enrolled in the system.The company plans to make the e-wallet available to car manufacturers that have already adopted its existing connected vehicle services.


Many software companies are using sensors and machine learning to improve safety for drivers and pedestrians.

RoboSense won its second CES Innovation Award in a row for its Smart LiDAR sensor in the Vehicle Intelligence and Self-Driving Technology category. The company’s RS-LiDAR-M1 Smart LiDAR is the world’s first MEMS Smart LiDAR Sensor to incorporate sensor hardware, artificial intelligence (AI) perception algorithms, and IC chipsets. This adds data analysis capabilities to conventional LiDAR sensors, providing essential information for autonomous vehicle decision-making more quickly. The company is showing off its Smart LiDAR car outside the Las Vegas Convention Center daily during CES 2020.

Cerence’s Emergency Vehicle Detection (EVD) integrates with the in-car assistant to alert drivers of approaching emergency vehicles. In a customer survey Cerence found that people wanted help during stressful situations. Participants said siren detection would be most valuable when there is loud audio inside or outside of the car, in heavy traffic situations, and in urban settings.
Cerence EVD uses existing microphones that are part of the vehicle’s interior design. It uses the distinct sound structure of emergency siren signals to determine the source and the direction. Once a siren is identified, the volume of the radio or other media inside the vehicle is lowered, and the driver is notified via the car’s visual and audio infotainment system.

More and more cars are using digital displays to present information to drivers. Bosch’s 3D display uses passive 3D technology, meaning there are no glasses or eye-tracking cameras. Instead, the technology generates a realistic 3D effect that can be viewed faster than a traditional screen and from different perspectives and by multiple passengers at the same time. From assistance systems to traffic alerts, urgent information can jump out of the display and catch the driver’s attention.
The rear-view camera image with the 3D display will also be more realistic, allowing earlier detection of obstacles and help drivers better understand space and approaching walls.


Connected cars need advanced technology inside and outside the vehicle. That’s where vehicle-to-everything (V2X) comes in. V2X technology is the connective tissue between smart vehicles and infrastructure, including RFID readers, signage, cameras, lane makers, streetlights, and parking meters among others. Several companies showed off new tech in this space at CES 2020.

CIRRUS by Panasonic won the CES 2020 Innovation Awards Honoree in the Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation category. Panasonic’s V2X system is a connected vehicle data platform for sharing of data between vehicles, infrastructure, roadways, and traffic operators in real time. CIRRUS uses cloud analytics and data processing to provide real-time analysis as well as data transmission and storage capabilities for sharing and updating vehicles and municipalities with road conditions, operations, and other safety information.

At CES 2020, Samsung showcased the 5G Telematics Control Unit, V2X technology that uses 5G to deliver driving information with low latency. Samsung’s V2X technology detects other cars (especially emergency vehicles) and pedestrians and delivers general traffic information to the driver. These alerts tell the driver when to slow down.
For more CES news, check out all of TechRepublic’s coverage.

The Bosch Virtual Visor replaces the sun visor with a transparent panel. Cameras track your eyes and the position of the sun, darkening specific panels on the visor to shade your eyes.
Image: Bosch