Guest Editorial by Dr. Wolfgang Huhn, Audi’s Lighting & Vision General Manager
CES is a colourful, loud and open event where you find the automotive OEMs and some tier-1 and -2 lighting suppliers. A “must” for our community; worth going, no? Yes! Because there is a second CES, a secret and private CES, where nearly all lighting-relevant companies show their innovations—not to everyone; by invitation only. I visited AL, integrated in the big Magneti Marelli ballroom at the Wynn Hotel, Varroc’s ballroom-size show space at Bally’s, SLD (Soraa Laser) and Elmos with smart lighting electronics in Westgate suites. Valeo had a two-story house at the outdoor area; Osram, Stanley, and Koito had spaces in the North Hall all with additional private rooms. LG Electronics had a huge private area on the second floor in Central Hall, which included ZKW with big displays of all their future technologies. LG Display showed all the nice OLED innovations including automotive. Audi’s light lab and TI (between North and Central Halls) were the only places like this completely open for the public.
The same like in all the other auto shows, you think? Boring? No! You could speak with nearly all leading people of our industry in just three days only. And no company wants to be “old economy”. All show their vision, their next but one step. How and why they fit into this high-tech chaos around them. SLD Laser did it the American way: go big or go home. They invited journalists and stakeholders for a test drive in an off-road racing truck, a hell of a ride across the pitch dark desert pierced by laser headlamps with >1 km reach. This is Las Vegas!
My dream for CES 2021 is a lighting keynote, organised by DVN of course. All CEOs, CTOs, or VPs of the companies speak like silicon valley rockstars with shows and surprises in front of 1500 enthusiastic guests. Our industry is innovative like not many others. Let’s show it to the world. The CES could be the place!
Dr. Wolfgang Huhn