This year's Consumer Electronics Show has seen numerous announcements so far involving advancements in a variety of fields. Here are the five biggest developments in auto technology you should know about.
Audi A7 Jack Driverless Car
The Audi A7 Jack self-driving car is capable of mapping out the road in front of it and scanning for signs, objects and other cars thanks to its collection of sensors and cameras. The vehicle can also break, accelerate and change lanes on its own at up to 70 miles per hour, and a steering wheel is included in case the driver feels like taking over. The A7 Jack began its 550-mile, two-day roadtrip Monday from San Francisco to CES 2015 Las Vegas. Once it arrives, Audi will show off the vehicle and the software and hardware it uses to drive on its own. The company said it will be a few years before drivers will be able to take the A7 Jack out on the road.
Toyota's Open Hydrogen Patents
Toyota announced Monday at the trade show that it will share thousands of hydrogen fuel cell patents with other automakers in order to make hydrogen-powered vehicles commercially available, CNN reported. The patents are free and cover fuel cell stacks, high-pressure hydrogen tanks, fuel cell system software controls and the construction of hydrogen-fueling stations.
Mercedes-Benz Self-Driving Car Concept
Mercedes-Benz's concept for its self-driving electric car, called the F015 Luxury in Motion, aims to connect drivers to the world outside of the car. Features used to accomplish this goal include doors built with high-resolution touch-screen display panels that allow people inside to use touch, gestures and eye movements to navigate and get a view of outside. The seats automatically rotate 30 degrees when the doors open so passengers have an easier time getting inside the car. The F015 will most likely not be made available to drivers for at least 15 years.
Nest Thermostat Integrating with Automatic Driving Monitor
Nest continues to make its smart thermostat even smarter, announcing Monday at the CES that the device will now work with the Automatic smart driving monitor, CNET reported. Automatic will notify the Thermostat when the user leaves the house in a car equipped with the driving monitor, and the house will go into "away mode," giving the owner a chance to save energy. The integration will also allow the house to be set at a specific temperature the user is comfortable with.
Volkswagen Vehicles Getting CarPlay, Android Auto Support
Volkswagen was another automaker that made a special announcement on Monday, revealing that it is bringing support for CarPlay and Android Auto to its cars in the U.S. and Europe later this year. The move gives the German car maker a chance to get around the limits of providing each platform individually, since CarPlay only works with iOS gadgets. U.S. owners will also be treated with the MirrorLink agnostic app.