The tech and automotive world continue to come together and nowhere else on the planet is that more apparent than at CES. This year autonomous driving was all the craze, as was the continued, sometimes rocky, marriage of smartphones and in-vehicle infotainment. But more than that, we got to see some snazzy rides that combined both style and tech in a big way. Here is a list of some of the coolest cars and car tech gracing the show floor at CES 2013.
Check out more top picks in our best of CES 2013 rundown.
Google isn’t the only high-profile name in the self-driving car game these days. Lexus drew a lot of attention at CES this week by showcasing its Advanced Active Safety Research Vehicle, attempting to prove to the world that it’s at the vanguard of autonomous vehicle technology. Nevertheless, Lexus’ kitted-out LS will face stiff competition from Audi, which also showed off an autonomous vehicle of its own this week. Of course, before we all go rushing to the dealers for a car that can chauffeur us around, details regarding legislation and refining bulky sensor tech must be addressed.
Cars of all kinds, including production and concepts, frequent CES from year to year. But whenever we get a chance to eye a full blown racecar, it’s the automotive equivalent to spotting a shooting star: memorable and unmistakably special. Audi’s futuristic and heavenly hall of God was a spectacle to behold in and of itself, but the company’s Audi R18 e-tron quattro hybrid, which won the 24 hours of Le Mans race last year, was just as easily turning heads. Why is it so special? Audi’s overnight racer features a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) that works by recovering kinetic energy created during the braking process, which in turn stores that energy and allows it to be used at a later time. Throw in a 600,000 pixel digital rearview mirror and you have one very fancy hybrid.
For more check out Follow the light: Audi’s R18 e-tron quattro blinds with tech at CES.
The Viper has always been one badass car, but one that’s always been more at home slithering across the racetrack than bumbling around the suburbs. Past Vipers have been unapologetic, venomous SOBs with nary a comfort feature. That changes in 2013 with the inclusion of features like Bluetooth, navigation, Chrysler’s latest version of UConnect, and electronic stability control. It’s easy to assume these gizmos have robbed the Viper of its bite, but after seeing the 2013 SRT Viper in person at CES, we know it’s faster, smarter, and more beautiful than ever before.
Tesla Model S infotainment powered by Nvidia Tegra 3
What happens when you fuse a stunning processor with stunning vehicle performance? You get Tesla’s Model S luxury-performance sedan with an infotainment system that’s bigger than the sky, powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 3 processor. The all-electric car’s display is currently the largest available in a production vehicle, and we really hope other automakers will follow suit and start to include ludicrously large displays of their own. Truthfully, we’re not sure what we love more: the car’s good looks or the stunning 17-inch LCD display. Luckily, we get both.
Smartphones and cars need to learn how to work together. With all the cool features and apps crammed into our phones, it’s beyond disappointing that they rarely play nicely with each other. At CES 2013, Hyundai offered a solution to this problem by showing a prototype of a future infotainment system; one that mirrors a smartphone’s display – applications and all – and recreates it faithfully on the vehicle’s center console. It seems a simple enough idea, but it could very well streamline the entire smartphone-to-infotainment experience in a big way.
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