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Two automakers unveiled their visions of the future of driving at CES Asia 2019, with the hopes of improving drivers’ lives through increased autonomy and humanized design.
Hoping to better conditions for truck drivers in China, autonomous truck technology startup Inceptio unveiled its first model—the Inceptio No. 1—at CES Asia 2019 in Shanghai, China last week.
The truck features sensors placed around the vehicle. Using data from these sensors, Inceptio’s autonomous driving software is able to maneuver the vehicle with millimeter accuracy and quick reaction times, the company claims.
“Today, driving a big truck is a manual job. It’s physically challenging and requires high skill levels,” said Julian Ma, CEO of Inceptio. “It’s not a very desirable job for many people because [it means being] away from home with long hours and night driving.”
Ma is also the president of G7 Networks, an Internet of Things startup. He was the corporate vice-president at Tencent prior to founding Inceptio.
Inceptio No. 1 is a Level 3 autonomous vehicle—the truck can monitor the environment and manage most aspects of driving under certain conditions. However, driver intervention is still required when the vehicle cannot navigate some scenarios.
With Level 3 autonomy, Inceptio hopes to relieve truck drivers of grueling periods of concentration and also improve the efficiency of long-haul interstate logistics.
Inceptio says it will enter mass production within the next five years and eventually provide a nationwide logistics service via autonomous trucks powered by the company’s technology.
“By combining the lower labor cost, higher fuel efficiency, and the much stronger network effects, we anticipate that just with our Level 3 technology, the whole logistics industry can reduce existing cost levels by more than 10%,” Ma said.
Unlike Inceptio, Hyundai Mobis presented attendees with their vision of what it could be like to drive in the future.
Mobis showed off two concept vehicles at CES, hoping to attract Chinese consumers with its technologies. By incorporating what the company calls “virtual space touch technology” into the operating system, drivers can control the car through hand gestures.
Communication lighting outside the vehicle can also quickly identify the surrounding environment and interact with pedestrians.
David Cho, general manager of the Interior & Exterior Business Team at Mobis China Sales Center, believes that these technologies will be more mature and cheaper in the future.
“We believe in the [next] five or 10 years you will probably be experiencing those technologies in your vehicles,” he said.
With contributions from Eugene Tang.