Evidence, if it is they were needed, as much as CES became the auto show that landed on the 2023 keynote, which BMW hosted and presented its concept and the color-changing Vision Dee. Sidekicks who took the stage included Herbie, KITT and, yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
When the show itself began, old giants including BMW as well as Audi and Volkswagen shared the show floor with auto-tech firms like Harman, second-tier suppliers like ZF, and startups converting classic cars to electric. such as Zero Labs. There was even a collaboration that would sound like a Grand Touring exclusively just a few years ago, in the form of Sony Honda Mobility and its new car brand, Afeela.
With more auto news coming out of CES this week than the dedicated 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show, it’s perhaps no surprise that the future of the traditional auto show is in doubt. This was an event where automakers and technology firms came closer together, providing a clearer picture of how they would work together, and, most importantly, how they would need each other to survive.
Here, then, are WIRED’s most interesting auto technologies from CES 2023.
Sony Honda Mobility Afeela
Three years after Sony surprised CES 2020 attendees with its first concept car, the company now has a manufacturing partner in the form of Honda and a brand: Afeela. The first Afeela model will be available for pre-order in the US during the first half of 2025, Sony said, with the first cars arriving for customers in the spring of 2026.
The car on display has 45 sensors, Sony said, along with a digital display on the front bumper, Lidar for autonomous driving and 3D graphics made with Unreal Engine by Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite. The first Afeela car will apparently use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon “Digital Chassis”, a new automotive platform that integrates telematics, connectivity, driver assistance and autonomy. Other car brands will also use Qualcomm’s chassis.
BMW and Vision Dee
BMW used CES to show off a new concept car that can change its exterior color in seconds. The body is covered with panels that work like the screen of your Kindle e-reader. Up to 32 shades are available on this prototype, and graduated patterns can be created to blend from one tone to another.
Inside, the i Vision Dee features what BMW hopes will be the future of head-up display (HUD) technology. Replacing a conventional dashboard display, the interface is projected onto the entire windscreen, with the driver able to choose between five levels of immersion, from a simple, shallow range of driving and vehicle information, to a full screen showing a virtual world.