As the Detroit International Auto Show opens its doors this week you could argue that the year's most significant industry event has already taken place around 1,700 miles south west – in Las Vegas.

It was here that you could see how the car industry is heading for its biggest disruption in 100 years. Everything is up for grabs: car ownership, vehicle design and the way we drive – or rather the way we are driven.

Business models are going to have to change. Take Uber as an example, it is the biggest cab company in the world but it owns no vehicles – it's just a software business. With the growth of car- and ride-share, along with autonomous vehicles, will individuals actually need to own a car? If not who does? The manufacturer? 

If that's the case how would that impact dealer networks? It may be that in future, when you want to go out you just call up an autonomous vehicle on your smart phone app and along it comes. Car design on the inside may no longer be important – it will be what's on the inside that matters.

The technology is already here – it's just the regulation and infrastructure that's lacking. Here's just a few CES highlights:

  • Honda unveiled its Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem concept connecting the power of artificial intelligence, robotics and big data to transform the mobility experience of the future. The envisions a future where vehicles will communicate with each other and infrastructure to mitigate traffic congestion and eliminate traffic fatalities while increasing the productivity of road users and delivering new types of in-vehicle entertainment experiences. Vehicles will create new value by autonomously providing services when not in use by their owners. Honda also announced collaborations with Visa, DreamWorks Animation and innovative start-ups through the Honda Developer Studio and Honda Xcelerator open innovation programmes based out of Honda Silicon Valley Lab. Further, as part of its effort to accelerate open innovation, Honda has established a new URL for areas including AI, Big Data and Robotics.
  • Toyota unveiled the Concept-i, a new vehicle that represents a friendlier, people-focused approach to future mobility. The heart of Concept-i is a powerful AI system that learns with the driver, building a relationship. It goes beyond just driving patterns and schedules, making use of multiple technologies to measure emotion, mapped against where and when the driver travels in the world.
  • Audi and partners from the electronics industry are jointly developing game-changing know-how in the field of machine learning presenting the Q7 deep learning concept, a piloted driving car made possible thanks to collaboration with NVIDIA, demonstrating the intelligence of the Q7 deep learning concept on a specially designed, variable open area for piloted driving.The car orients itself by means of a front camera with 2 megapixel resolution, and the camera communicates with an NVIDIA Drive PX 2 processing unit, which in turn controls the steering with high precision. The high-performance controller is specially engineered for piloted driving applications.
  • Hyundai's future vision is for health-conscious vehicles that connects mobility and wellness by creating in-car conditions that increase focus or relaxation. Its 'Health + Mobility Cockpit' is a concept enabled by the monitoring of health and related indicators to help manage the stress and other negative effects of driving. A series of sensors throughout the car could monitor the physical and mental state of the driver, detecting everything from the driver's posture to their respiratory rate and breathing depth. Also the car could measure heart-rate variability for stress response, and use eye tracking and facial feature recognition to track alertness and emotional state. 
  • Inrix is to integrate Amazon Alexa, the intelligent cloud based voice service, into the OpenCar platform for connected vehicles. In the second half of this year, drivers with OpenCar enabled vehicles will be able to access a host of services from within their vehicle via Alexa, including Amazon Music, Audible audiobooks and Inrix Driver Services such as traffic, parking, incidents and road weather conditions.

CES – world debut list

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