Technology

5 future motoring technologies coming soon

The 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has once again delivered future tech for the motoring masses. But how much of it will make it to showrooms and which gadgets are nothing but a flight of fancy?

As a preview to CES 2020 here is our Top Five future motoring technologies that may or may not be coming soon.

1. The Segway S-Pod

When you think of Segways, you no doubt picture tourists perched precariously on stand-up scooters. But erase that image from your mind, for the 2020 iteration of the Segway requires even less effort from its rider.

It’s not exactly a car per se, but the new two-wheeled Segway S-Pod is essentially a self-balancing chair on wheels that can supposedly manage a top speed of approximately 38.6 kilometres an hour.

While traditional Segways are driven by the rider leaning forward, the S-Pod is controlled by a joystick on the side of the seat.

It’s expected to be available to consumers in early 2021 and will be unveiled at CES 2020 alongside Segway’s new Kickscooter Air T15, a lightweight compact electric scooter.

2. BMW’s Urban Suite

Debuting at CES 2020, BMW’s i3 Urban Suite is a two-seat interior setup meant to make you feel like you’re driving from the comfort of “a boutique hotel”. Nightly turn-down service not included.

If you’re the passenger, you’ll get to recline in a roomy business class seat complete with footrest, personal screen and a “personal sound zone”. Sadly for those behind the wheel, the driver’s seat has been left untouched, as has the dash.

As is the case in the original i3 (BMW’s first electric car) the interior is trimmed with recycled materials and responsibly sourced wood.

3. Fisker’s Ocean SUV

Billed as “the world’s most sustainable vehicle”, the Ocean is a crossover SUV from American electric carmaker Fisker Inc. Although the concept was officially revealed in late 2019, CES 2020 will mark the first time a prototype will be seen by the public.

Slated to enter production in 2021 with both rear and all-wheel drive options available, deliveries are expected to commence in 2022.

Fisker’s offering is shaping up to be a rival to Tesla, with the Ocean boasting a solar rooftop, all-vegan interior and finishes made of recycled materials – all at a relatively accessible price with lease options available.

One of its more bizarre features? An in-built karaoke machine of sorts, with the car’s heads-up display able to show song lyrics.

4. Sony’s electric concept car

One of the more unexpected announcements to come out of CES 2020 was Sony’s Vision-S, an electric concept sedan designed to showcase Sony technology.

With 33 sensors embedded in the car, the Vision-S tracks objects and people inside and outside the car, boasts “360 Reality Audio” with speakers in each seat and offers a panoramic dashboard-length screen in the front and two individual screens for passengers in the back.

5. Hyundai and Uber’s flying taxis

While the idea has been around since 2016, Uber Elevate, ride-sharing giant Uber’s futuristic aerial transport initiative, has been little more than an ambitious plan.

But at CES 2020, Uber and Hyundai are planning to debut a mock-up of a flying taxi or “personal air vehicle” concept named the S-A1 with the potential to revolutionise the way we travel.

Theoretically, the Uber Air Taxis would bypass traffic-clogged roads and travel around 300 to 600 metres above the ground at a cruising speed of 290 kilometres per hour.

While the vehicles will initially be piloted, Hyundai plans for them to eventually become autonomous. Uber’s goal is to have Uber Elevate commercially available in 2023.