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2019 LA & CES Lighting and ADAS report
Tuesday, 29 January 2019

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The Los Angeles auto show is the North American hot spot for newly-released and forthcoming production cars as well as production-plausible concepts; CES in Las Vegas caters for the farther-out ideas, the reimagining of traffic and transport up and down the scale from micro to macro. Taken together, the two shows provide an almost seamless, comprehensive look at the current, foreseeable, and imaginable state of the art in vision systems for drivers—human and vehicular alike.

It was especially interesting to see these two shows almost back-to-back. Their nominal focus is not identical, of course; LA is first and foremost an auto show, whilst CES is a technology show. But there's a whole lot of overlap: the LA show had tremendous deliberate and incidental emphasis on technology, because today's cars contain an unprecedented amount of it, and CES had a great deal of deliberate and incidental emphasis on personal transport. What are the main takeaways we retain?

  • Although terms like "personal transport" are burgeoning, with intent to include modes and methods not presently common, clearly automotive vehicles recogniseable as such will carry on dominating for quite awhile.
  • The question of whether tomorrow's cars will need or have lights appears to have been answered with a resounding "Yes".
  • We have passed the tipping point; LEDs really have to be considered the standard technology for making light on cars.
  • Machine-vision and human-vision systems are merging on a physical, practical level; there's keen interest and a great deal of innovation going into integration of sensors and cameras and suchlike in front and rear lights.
  • In today's lights, design and style are being leveraged like never before for brand identity and cohesion and to advertise the whole vehicle's level of technology.
  • Even at the giant Los Angeles show, concept cars as we have known them in the past seem to be on the decline.