Automotive

Gallery: The superlative, forward-looking cars and travel machines of CES 2019

Gallery: The superlative, forw...
Probably the most sensational vehicle at all of CES, the Bell Nexus concept
Probably the most sensational vehicle at all of CES, the Bell Nexus concept
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Ford shows off a self-driving delivery vehicle
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Ford shows off a self-driving delivery vehicle
The Ford/Postmates research vehicle has a variety of compartments for storing deliveries
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The Ford/Postmates research vehicle has a variety of compartments for storing deliveries
Looking at Ford's Transit Connect research vehicle, we couldn't help but imagine it as a self-driving mini-campervan ready to tour the continent
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Looking at Ford's Transit Connect research vehicle, we couldn't help but imagine it as a self-driving mini-campervan ready to tour the continent
Ford detailed its work with Postmates last year
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Ford detailed its work with Postmates last year
Honda debuts its Autonomous Work Vehicle, a self-driving ATV workhorse it's been testing around the US
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Honda debuts its Autonomous Work Vehicle, a self-driving ATV workhorse it's been testing around the US
Honda originally debuted this earlier version of the Autonomous Work Vehicle, called 3E-D18, at CES 2018 before debuting a more refined version, complete with gear and dirt, this year
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Honda originally debuted this earlier version of the Autonomous Work Vehicle, called 3E-D18, at CES 2018 before debuting a more refined version, complete with gear and dirt, this year
Honda 3E-D18 autonomous ATV work vehicle at CES 2019
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Honda 3E-D18 autonomous ATV work vehicle at CES 2019
Last year, Furrion debuted a tractor-trailer camper concept, and the distinctive semi truck part of that equation is known as "Hercules"
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Last year, Furrion debuted a tractor-trailer camper concept, and the distinctive semi truck part of that equation is known as "Hercules"
A look inside the living room of the Furrion Limitless concept fifth-wheel trailer
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A look inside the living room of the Furrion Limitless concept fifth-wheel trailer
The Limitless concept trailer packs plenty of space thanks to slide-outs on both sides
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The Limitless concept trailer packs plenty of space thanks to slide-outs on both sides
The Hercules/Limitless would have been the most impressive vehicle at any other booth, but not at Furrion, where the 78-foot Adonis smart yacht stole the show
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The Hercules/Limitless would have been the most impressive vehicle at any other booth, but not at Furrion, where the 78-foot Adonis smart yacht stole the show
The big, muscular Hercules semi provides plenty of towing power to pull the Limitless around highways and byways
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The big, muscular Hercules semi provides plenty of towing power to pull the Limitless around highways and byways
6 Watch shows its Virtual Surveillance Partner (VSP) technology, a LIDAR/video unit that provides 360-degree threat assessment and alert for public safety vehicles
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6 Watch shows its Virtual Surveillance Partner (VSP) technology, a LIDAR/video unit that provides 360-degree threat assessment and alert for public safety vehicles
Japan's Cartivator imagines a 2050 by which everyone and anyone can fly from point to point using compact, versatile VTOL flying cars. The first part of that mission is to develop a working flying car in time to use it to light the flame of the Olympic torch at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games 
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Japan's Cartivator imagines a 2050 by which everyone and anyone can fly from point to point using compact, versatile VTOL flying cars. The first part of that mission is to develop a working flying car in time to use it to light the flame of the Olympic torch at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games 
BCS shows its Surf 'n Curve concept at CES 2019
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BCS shows its Surf 'n Curve concept at CES 2019
Instead of the ubiquitous retractable steering wheel, the Surf 'n Curve does away with the steering wheel completely, replacing it with Jetdrive technology - joystick steering controls for each of the driver's hands
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Instead of the ubiquitous retractable steering wheel, the Surf 'n Curve does away with the steering wheel completely, replacing it with Jetdrive technology - joystick steering controls for each of the driver's hands
The Jetdrive puts a pair of steerable handles on the armchair driving seat, creating a more relaxed form of driving
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The Jetdrive puts a pair of steerable handles on the armchair driving seat, creating a more relaxed form of driving
The BCS Surf 'n Curve includes both manual and autonomous modes and displays information on a series of digital displays
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The BCS Surf 'n Curve includes both manual and autonomous modes and displays information on a series of digital displays
Using the settings touch controller on the BCS Surf 'n Curve, you can adjust seat settings and pedal position
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Using the settings touch controller on the BCS Surf 'n Curve, you can adjust seat settings and pedal position
One of the more distinctive car concepts of the show, the AEV modular pod concept pairs a robotic electric four-wheel drive skateboard chassis with a series of purpose-designed travel pods
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One of the more distinctive car concepts of the show, the AEV modular pod concept pairs a robotic electric four-wheel drive skateboard chassis with a series of purpose-designed travel pods
A peek inside AEV's modular concept
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A peek inside AEV's modular concept
It was the sliding doors that caught our eye, but the AEV concept car can support all kinds of different body pods, from ride-sharing commuter pods, to package-hauling delivery pods, to hardworking industrial pods
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It was the sliding doors that caught our eye, but the AEV concept car can support all kinds of different body pods, from ride-sharing commuter pods, to package-hauling delivery pods, to hardworking industrial pods
According to AEV's soon-to-fully-launch website, the company had a soft launch in December and a full public launch at CES
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According to AEV's soon-to-fully-launch website, the company had a soft launch in December and a full public launch at CES
The robotic skateboard chassis of the AEV modular concept car
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The robotic skateboard chassis of the AEV modular concept car
The AEV concept includes wireless charging
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The AEV concept includes wireless charging
AEV robotic electric skateboard chassis
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AEV robotic electric skateboard chassis
Mahle addresses urban mobility needs with the 48-V MEET concept
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Mahle addresses urban mobility needs with the 48-V MEET concept
Mahle also uses CES to launch its new pedelec drive systems, which are quite cleanly integrated into bikes, barely differentiable from non-electric bikes. The company plans to supply existing e-bike makers
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Mahle also uses CES to launch its new pedelec drive systems, which are quite cleanly integrated into bikes, barely differentiable from non-electric bikes. The company plans to supply existing e-bike makers
Einride shows its self-driving delivery truck
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Einride shows its self-driving delivery truck
Big, bold and futuristic self-driving transport truck from Einride
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Big, bold and futuristic self-driving transport truck from Einride
A look at the business end of the Einride transport truck
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A look at the business end of the Einride transport truck
A peek inside the Bell Nexus concept
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A peek inside the Bell Nexus concept
The Bell Nexus air taxi relies on six tilting rotors to take off/land vertically and fly through the sky
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The Bell Nexus air taxi relies on six tilting rotors to take off/land vertically and fly through the sky
Bell shows a full-size model of a hybrid air taxi
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Bell shows a full-size model of a hybrid air taxi
The Bell Nexus is powered by a combination of batteries and a gas turbine driving a generator
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The Bell Nexus is powered by a combination of batteries and a gas turbine driving a generator
Bell shows some other models at CES 2019
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Bell shows some other models at CES 2019
Bell shows some other models at CES 2019
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Bell shows some other models at CES 2019
We photograph our way around the Bell Nexus concept at CES 2019
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We photograph our way around the Bell Nexus concept at CES 2019
Kia explores how future vehicles could adapt to the driver's needs and moods
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Kia explores how future vehicles could adapt to the driver's needs and moods
Inside Kia's R.E.A.D. cockpit
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Inside Kia's R.E.A.D. cockpit
Kia's R.E.A.D. System creates a highly personalized cabin environment by adjusting lighting, sound, temperature, seat vibration and scent
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Kia's R.E.A.D. System creates a highly personalized cabin environment by adjusting lighting, sound, temperature, seat vibration and scent
Kia presents its SEED "car" as an urban micro mobility solution, essentially an electric quad cycle with 62 miles (100 km) of battery range
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Kia presents its SEED "car" as an urban micro mobility solution, essentially an electric quad cycle with 62 miles (100 km) of battery range
The SEED Car works together with the larger autonomous BIRD Car (not shown), a longer-range autonomous shuttle that can take it on longer journeys before deploying it within 62 miles of the destination
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The SEED Car works together with the larger autonomous BIRD Car (not shown), a longer-range autonomous shuttle that can take it on longer journeys before deploying it within 62 miles of the destination
Furrion Adonis smart yacht
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Furrion Adonis smart yacht
Mitsubishi Electric highlights the connected cockpit with the Emirai4 concept
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Mitsubishi Electric highlights the connected cockpit with the Emirai4 concept
Mitsubishi Emirai4 concept
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Mitsubishi Emirai4 concept
A peek at the high-tech interior of the Mitsubishi Electric Emirai4 concept
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A peek at the high-tech interior of the Mitsubishi Electric Emirai4 concept
One of the new features in the latest iteration of the Mitsubishi Emirai concept is its ground-illuminating indicator technology
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One of the new features in the latest iteration of the Mitsubishi Emirai concept is its ground-illuminating indicator technology
Continental Cube on show at CES 2019
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Continental Cube on show at CES 2019
Continental Cube
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Continental Cube
A highly unexpected vehicle showing from an automaker: the Audi e-foil
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A highly unexpected vehicle showing from an automaker: the Audi e-foil
The e-foil is the pet project of Audi engineer Franz Hofmann
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The e-foil is the pet project of Audi engineer Franz Hofmann
Audi's e-foil is capable of speeds up to 27 mph (43.5 km/h), slightly faster than the other prototype electric hydrofoil board shown at CES, the Waydoo Flyer
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Audi's e-foil is capable of speeds up to 27 mph (43.5 km/h), slightly faster than the other prototype electric hydrofoil board shown at CES, the Waydoo Flyer
Audi shows the Aicon concept at CES 2019
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Audi shows the Aicon concept at CES 2019
Audi Aicon
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Audi Aicon
Audi turns the car into a stationary movie theater that moves its body in tune to the content while also shaking the seats and broadcasting accompanying lighting effects
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Audi turns the car into a stationary movie theater that moves its body in tune to the content while also shaking the seats and broadcasting accompanying lighting effects
The all-new Jeep Gladiator is one of the least techy vehicles at CES, but it still makes an impression coming off a late-2018 debut
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The all-new Jeep Gladiator is one of the least techy vehicles at CES, but it still makes an impression coming off a late-2018 debut
Nissan shows the aggressive new Leaf Nismo RC at CES 2019
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Nissan shows the aggressive new Leaf Nismo RC at CES 2019
Underneath its dramatic aerodynamics, the Leaf Nismo RC packs a 321-hp dual-motor electric powertrain with 472 lb-ft of instant torque
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Underneath its dramatic aerodynamics, the Leaf Nismo RC packs a 321-hp dual-motor electric powertrain with 472 lb-ft of instant torque
A look inside the sporty Nissan Leaf RC Nismo
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A look inside the sporty Nissan Leaf RC Nismo
Nissan uses virtual reality, connected tech and in-vehicle sensors in the Invisible-to-Visible demonstrator
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Nissan uses virtual reality, connected tech and in-vehicle sensors in the Invisible-to-Visible demonstrator
Nissan's Invisible-to-Visible system merges vehicle sensor data with data from the cloud, letting the driver see beyond what's physically visible around the car - for instance, showing behind a building or around a corner
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Nissan's Invisible-to-Visible system merges vehicle sensor data with data from the cloud, letting the driver see beyond what's physically visible around the car - for instance, showing behind a building or around a corner
Mercedes shows the all-electric EQC at CES 2019
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Mercedes shows the all-electric EQC at CES 2019
Mercedes debuted the EQC in September 2018 and holds its American debut at CES 2019
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Mercedes debuted the EQC in September 2018 and holds its American debut at CES 2019
Mercedes holds the world premiere of the new CLA Coupe at CES 2019
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Mercedes holds the world premiere of the new CLA Coupe at CES 2019
Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupe
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Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupe
Mercedes shows the Vision Urbanetic at CES 
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Mercedes shows the Vision Urbanetic at CES 
The Mercedes Vision Urbanetic is an autonomous concept vehicle designed for moving both people and goods
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The Mercedes Vision Urbanetic is an autonomous concept vehicle designed for moving both people and goods
Mercedes holds the US premiere of the Vision Urbanetic at CES 2019
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Mercedes holds the US premiere of the Vision Urbanetic at CES 2019
Hyundai Mobis at CES 2019
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Hyundai Mobis at CES 2019
Denso Urban Moves concept 
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Denso Urban Moves concept 
Vehicles of CES 2019
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Vehicles of CES 2019
Vehicles of CES 2019
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Vehicles of CES 2019
Vehicles of CES 2019
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Vehicles of CES 2019
Ford shows off its latest police interceptor
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Ford shows off its latest police interceptor
Ford's XBOX Ranger first debuted at SEMA 2018, but it's a natural fit for CES, too
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Ford's XBOX Ranger first debuted at SEMA 2018, but it's a natural fit for CES, too
The XBOX Ranger is more than a pretty wrap, packing a full XBOX One X gaming system in back
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The XBOX Ranger is more than a pretty wrap, packing a full XBOX One X gaming system in back
The BMW Vision iNext makes an appearance at CES
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The BMW Vision iNext makes an appearance at CES
Mahle's pedelec drives are among the most neatly integrated we've seen, leaving the bikes barely recognizable as e-bikes
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Mahle's pedelec drives are among the most neatly integrated we've seen, leaving the bikes barely recognizable as e-bikes
Intel puts its Autonomous Vehicle Entertainment Experience inside a BMW X5
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Intel puts its Autonomous Vehicle Entertainment Experience inside a BMW X5
The rear of Intel's specially equipped BMW X5 includes a lowerable display that's part of a 270-degree entertainment experience
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The rear of Intel's specially equipped BMW X5 includes a lowerable display that's part of a 270-degree entertainment experience
Halfords brings Amazon Alexa to e-bikes with the Cybic E-Legend
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Halfords brings Amazon Alexa to e-bikes with the Cybic E-Legend
A look at the very digital cabin of the Byton M-Byte concept
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A look at the very digital cabin of the Byton M-Byte concept
Byton M-Byte
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Byton M-Byte
Nissan gives its ungainly IMx SUV concept another showing at CES before following up with the IMs sports sedan in Detroit
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Nissan gives its ungainly IMx SUV concept another showing at CES before following up with the IMs sports sedan in Detroit
Nissan announced a larger 62-kWh Leaf battery at CES, giving its world-famous electric car up to 226 miles (364 km) of range
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Nissan announced a larger 62-kWh Leaf battery at CES, giving its world-famous electric car up to 226 miles (364 km) of range
Nissan shows the Leaf at CES 2019
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Nissan shows the Leaf at CES 2019
The IMx Kuro concept is an aesthetically updated version of the original, Tokyo-2017-debuted IMx. Nissan first showed the Kuro at Geneva 2018
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The IMx Kuro concept is an aesthetically updated version of the original, Tokyo-2017-debuted IMx. Nissan first showed the Kuro at Geneva 2018
Nvidia at CES 2019
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Nvidia at CES 2019
Originally called Bolt, Monday Motorbikes debuts its much-evolved 7th-generation electric motorbike at CES
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Originally called Bolt, Monday Motorbikes debuts its much-evolved 7th-generation electric motorbike at CES
At the helm of the Furrion Adonis yacht
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At the helm of the Furrion Adonis yacht
Furrion's Adonis yacht is a Numarine yacht updated with an onboard AI system called Angel
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Furrion's Adonis yacht is a Numarine yacht updated with an onboard AI system called Angel
Furrion's Angel smart assistant uses voice control, facial recognition, smart mirrors and touch control displays
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Furrion's Angel smart assistant uses voice control, facial recognition, smart mirrors and touch control displays
A look inside one of the bedrooms aboard the Furrion Adonis, complete with yours and mine smart mirrors
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A look inside one of the bedrooms aboard the Furrion Adonis, complete with yours and mine smart mirrors
Furrion uses its smart mirror to order dinner from the chef's galley while also starting a crackling fire
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Furrion uses its smart mirror to order dinner from the chef's galley while also starting a crackling fire
Along with all its smart tech, the Furrion Adonis features a nice little hot tub
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Along with all its smart tech, the Furrion Adonis features a nice little hot tub
Furrion debuts the Adonis smart yacht at CES 2019
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Furrion debuts the Adonis smart yacht at CES 2019
Byton shows the K-Byte electric sedan concept
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Byton shows the K-Byte electric sedan concept
Byton K-Byte
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Byton K-Byte
Byton M-Byte electric SUV concept
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Byton M-Byte electric SUV concept
Byton M-Byte
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Byton M-Byte
Transdev, ZF and e.Go partner on an autonomous shared mobility system
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Transdev, ZF and e.Go partner on an autonomous shared mobility system
Furrion shows two of the largest vehicles at CES: the Hercules/Limitless tractor-trailer camper and the Adonis smart yacht
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Furrion shows two of the largest vehicles at CES: the Hercules/Limitless tractor-trailer camper and the Adonis smart yacht
Furrion at CES 2019
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Furrion at CES 2019
Another autonomous, modular chassis/pod concept, the Space_C from Panasonic
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Another autonomous, modular chassis/pod concept, the Space_C from Panasonic
Panasonic ups the entertainment capabilities of the autonomous vehicle cabin with the Space_L concept, designed to create a digital concert hall based directly upon the Berliner Philharmoniker hall
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Panasonic ups the entertainment capabilities of the autonomous vehicle cabin with the Space_L concept, designed to create a digital concert hall based directly upon the Berliner Philharmoniker hall
Panasonic accompanies its concert hall acoustics with plenty of digital display tech in the Space_L concept
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Panasonic accompanies its concert hall acoustics with plenty of digital display tech in the Space_L concept
The North Face and BMW Designworks are teaming on a pop-up tent teardrop trailer made from TNF's new Futurelight fabric 
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The North Face and BMW Designworks are teaming on a pop-up tent teardrop trailer made from TNF's new Futurelight fabric 
Perhaps the smartest bicycle at CES, the XON Orbitrec from Cerevo combines a 3D printed titanium/carbon frame with a 9-axis sensor system, GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and ANT+
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Perhaps the smartest bicycle at CES, the XON Orbitrec from Cerevo combines a 3D printed titanium/carbon frame with a 9-axis sensor system, GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and ANT+
Cerevo plans to build only 10 XON Orbitrec bikes and each model will be custom-built. The $140,000 price tag includes travel to and accommodation in Japan, where the buyer will be measured out for the bike
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Cerevo plans to build only 10 XON Orbitrec bikes and each model will be custom-built. The $140,000 price tag includes travel to and accommodation in Japan, where the buyer will be measured out for the bike
Novus electric motorcycle
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Hyundai shows how its Elevate walking car concept could self-rescue itself from deep snow
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Hyundai shows how its Elevate walking car concept could self-rescue itself from deep snow
Probably the most sensational vehicle at all of CES, the Bell Nexus concept
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Probably the most sensational vehicle at all of CES, the Bell Nexus concept

Before coming back down to Earth with the start of this week's North American International Auto Show, the mobility industry spent some time up in the bright, blue sky at CES 2019. Forget cars ready to drive home off the lot, CES was focused on vehicles, ecosystems and technologies built to shift paradigms and solve emerging transportation issues for future generations. And more often than not, those vehicles, ecosystems and technologies were pretty damn cool.

The production vehicles and concepts of CES spanned all of Earth's major transportation channels: air, land and water.

Land

Hyundai shows how its Elevate walking car concept could self-rescue itself from deep snow
Hyundai shows how its Elevate walking car concept could self-rescue itself from deep snow

Land vehicles were of course the most well-represented at CES, and our favorite was the Hyundai Elevate walking car. Hyundai took a risk by jumping beyond the modular self-drivers, advanced human-machine interfaces and electric SUVs, showing the vision of a truly unique walking car that could help emergency service workers power over near-impassable terrain. Instead of a simple set of axles and wheels, it uses motored wheels attached to robotic legs to roll, step, walk and climb, showing that four-leg drive vehicles could easily surpass four-wheel drive vehicles as the ultimate in go-anywhere transportation.

One of the more distinctive car concepts of the show, the AEV modular pod concept pairs a robotic electric four-wheel drive skateboard chassis with a series of purpose-designed travel pods
One of the more distinctive car concepts of the show, the AEV modular pod concept pairs a robotic electric four-wheel drive skateboard chassis with a series of purpose-designed travel pods

Unfortunately, Hyundai didn't have a full-size Elevate concept to reveal, and we didn't even see the scale prototype at the show. So if we're only picking from land vehicles we saw in person, we'd probably have to give the nod to the modular robotic vehicle concept shown by Japanese startup AEV Mobility. It catches the eye with its dual-sliding doors, but the real story is the 4WD robotic skateboard chassis capable of supporting a variety of utility pods, from ride-sharing taxi pods, to medical rescue pods, to industrial logistics pods.

Sea

Furrion Adonis smart yacht
Furrion Adonis smart yacht

Narrowing down our choice among sea vehicles was much easier than with land vehicles, partly because there was a more limited number of water vessels on show and partly because one of those vessels was very much the largest and most impressive: the Furrion Adonis. This smart yacht showcases an Alexa-like personal assistant system designed for luxury travel, seamlessly delivering news, travel updates and onboard assistance at a simple voice command ... or even by simply recognizing your face and taking it from there. The system is all "sea" for now, but Furrion reckons that it could easily be adapted to other segments, including motorhomes and houses.

Air

We photograph our way around the Bell Nexus concept at CES 2019
We photograph our way around the Bell Nexus concept at CES 2019

With the exception of maybe the Adonis yacht, the Bell Nexus concept was the most impressive, eye-grabbing vehicle of the entire CES show. The air taxi concept uses its six tilting, hybrid-powered rotors to take off and land vertically before and after swooping efficiently through the air. Although it remains years away from actually carrying passengers from A to B, the full-size Nexus model is quite a sight to behold.

The other vehicles follow the "land, sea and air" classifications, but that's about all they have in common with the ones above. Jump to the gallery to see everything from joystick-controlled car cockpits, to ultra-luxury expanding camping trailers, to six-figure smart bicycles.

3 comments
SimonClarke
Air - is it me or is that multi rotor copter out of a sci fi film? Terminator or Avatar.
Futurist Enthusiast
Can anyone tell me what the vehicle pictured in image #72 is? It's the small, chrome, likely single seat vehicle displayed on a stand that reads, "Driving Reimagined." Thank you.
Riaanh
@Futurist Enthusiast, I don't know ..... but I also want one. It is one of life's mysteries that the roads isn't already full of little vehicles like that.