Our Takeaways from CES 2020: The Future is Greener and Connected

As a first time CES attendee this year, I could not help but think that one’s inaugural trip is like going to Disneyland for the first time when you are five years old. It is overwhelming, and yet you want to try and see it all. Thousands of products shout for your attention. Conceptual designs around every corner inspire wonder. CES is truly a window into the future. I found myself hoping this year’s top trends become everyday fixtures in my lifetime.

2020 will mark my first full year based in Silicon Valley. I took the role of Chief of Staff of Acubed after being based in South Korea as an Innovation Manager for Airbus. At CES, the Korean usual suspects - namely LG and Samsung - wrestled to lead with the latest rollable, flexible displays and connected everything including home appliances like the refrigerator and dryer. Amazon and Google continued to spread their intelligent assistants in every possible product and gadget including high end luxury cars. If 2019 showed off flexible smartphones, this year computer giants unveiled foldables PCs. Additionally, health tech seems to be invading consumer products more deeply along with apps and software to help better monitor and understand our physical states.

While mobility is certainly a bigger focus at CES today, I don’t think the event will replace traditional auto or air shows. But it has become a place to give a glimpse into the future of mobility. No matter if you are pedaling, riding or flying, the future of mobility is connected, autonomous, shared and electric. Conceptual cars were showcased with advanced technologies for autonomy and sustainability, and interior features using materials that have a low-environmental impact. Technology itself is improving, connected via 5G networks and more robust processors enabling the route to safe autonomy. Bikes are hitting the road again, lighter and faster, with longer range and transporting more passengers or cargo. Again, the future is greener and connected.

In my view, the biggest surprise of the show was Sony unveiling its vision of transportation with its electric Vision-S cars. These vehicles are loaded with sensors gearing the vehicle towards safety and large screens redefining infotainment. Another sign that tech companies are pushing deeper into the automotive industry.

This year again, urban air mobility took center stage - which is a space we obviously watch closely at Acubed. Bell unveiled its renewed concept of the Bell Nexus, appearing more production-ready than the one displayed last year. Uber announced its latest partnership with Hyundai, which announced it will invest close to $1.5bn in advancing technologies within the next five years, continuing collaboration with key industries pioneering the business. The Korean chaebol is entering the flying car race as well, displaying a full-size mock up of their vehicle.

All tolled, I shouldn’t be surprised that there was a lot to be excited about at this CES this year. It was an impressive collection of innovation and increasing capabilities in technology. This new decade looks promising and it was inspiring to see the thousands of passionate individuals working hard to reimagine our world! If you’re an innovator - especially in aerospace or ancillary areas - we’d love to hear about, and possibly support, your idea. Reach out!

- Lucie Ravelojaona