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Carmakers Connect at CES

An overview of the event's automotive high-tech news.

by on Jan.08, 2014

BMW's Autonomous 6-Series shows its stuff at CES.

While the Detroit Auto Show has traditionally been the New Year’s kickoff for the automotive industry, the annual Consumer Electronics Show has increasingly upended that role, this year eight different manufacturers trumpeting their presence in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, hoping to connect with a new audience.

This year’s CES saw brands like Audi, Chevrolet, Toyota and Kia cover a wide spectrum of high-tech topics, from advanced lighting to in-car entertainment, as well as what has become one of the most talked-about technologies in some time: autonomous driving.

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Audi even crossed the Atlantic Ocean with some 30 European journalists to present their news ahead of the Detroit auto show, while Mercedes and BMW also brought representatives of the automotive media to Las Vegas. Those, who have never attended CES were taken aback by the size of the largest trade show in Las Vegas, one that hosts 3,200 exhibitors who distribute some 20,000 new products. They will likely never complain of crowded car shows anymore.

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Ford Using Sun to Power Solar Energi

C-Max concept charges batter using special panels on roof.

by on Jan.02, 2014

Ford's C-Max Solar Energi Concept will debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week.

Automakers are struggling to find ways to make it cheaper and easier to recharge electric vehicles and Ford plans to show off one possible alternative that replaces the plug with the sun.

The Detroit maker plans to reveal a concept version of its current plug-in hybrid, the C-Max, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that uses a solar panel on its roof to recharge the battery.

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Called the C-Max Solar Energi, it can collect a day’s worth of sunlight and get the same charge as the current C-Max Energi gets when plugged into the wall –albeit needing a full day’s strong sun to generate what you could get from a wall plug in four hours. Ford believes that this type of charging could account for 75% of all driving car owners currently do during a typical day. (more…)