Our CES report in the last Newsletter was focused on car makers, and the more progressive automation in cars to make them easier, safer, and more fun to drive (and easier to sell…!). But CES was so chock-full of innovative technology that we’re continuing our coverage this week, looking in depth at mobility platforms.
This year’s show was focused more on how to help human drivers rather than how to get rid of them, though there were still significant demonstrators around people mobility, mostly in a geofenced context. We’ve got coverage of it here in this week’s Newsletter. We also share what we saw at CES with regard to materials and weight reduction. Those topics don’t tend to make the popular-press headlines so much, but they’re centrally important to the DVN-I community.
Shows are reflecting communication efforts of the industry players; does it reflect real R&D efforts in proportion? Not completely, as latency of skills and investments means the market doesn’t have the flexibility to shift immediately. A car—or any mobility tool—will always need materials, these materials will always have a cost and a weight, and an industrial process will most likely be necessary to produce it, though, so here we are.
In that sense, it’s reassuring to see research and development working toward mass (weight) reduction. The interior represents a substantial proportion of the car’s weight, probably around 15% of the total. A gram is a gram is a gram, and wherever it is, it directly influences cost, emissions, and recycling.