Futuristic Car Technology Gets Top Billing at CES

Warm up dinner from your car? We’re almost there

The nation’s biggest gadget expo—held this week in Las Vegas—isn’t all about robots and segways. Cars are a big part of the Consumer Electronics Show, with 200,000 square feet of exhibit space devoted to auto exhibits this year, according to Vegas.com.

Not surprisingly, autonomous cars garnered the most excitement. Troubled Volkswagen showed-off its BUDD-e vehicle (that name!), a self-powered microbus that’s fully electric and can go 200 miles without a charge. Differing reports say BUDD-e could be on sale next year—or 2020.

A company from Quanergy also showed off new low-cost laser technology, which enables autonomous cars to see in every direction. The lasers, called LiDAR, also work with three-dimensional maps to help steer the car.

Ford’s autonomous hybrid version of the Fusion made a splash at CES. The company is also working with Amazon to develop technology that allows drivers to utilize home devices from their car. Want to start dinner before you brave the 405? That may be possible in a few years.

Chevy and Toyota also displayed their eco-friendly cars of the future. It was the hydrogen- and electric-powered FCVPlus for Toyota, and the Bolt for Chevy, the automaker’s first all-electric. Chevy is also working on their own self-driving cars, partnering with Lyft to make it happen. Meanwhile, luxury names like Mercedes and Audi promoted their full electrics at CES.

Car nuts will get even more juicy news to chew on at next week’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit.