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CES

2016 CES: First Day arrival and CES Key Note Address

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I really shouldn’t complain about the three and a half hour delay getting to Las Vegas — after all we need the rain in California. Even with this latest weather front we are only at about 1/2 the rainfall average for this time of year, but it did play havoc at SFO. I won’t comment about the horrible airline I flew out on. Let’s just say it really doesn’t portray a positive Spirit and leave it at that. Needless to say next year I’m flying Jet Blue.

The rest was uneventful.

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It was 8:30pm at the Chelsea theater at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. I sat in the audience waiting to hear the Opening Key Note speaker Dr Herbert Diess, Chairman of the board of Volkswagen. Deiss replaced the previous Chairman after the huge Volkswagen fiasco when it was discovered that for over six years, VW intentionally and systematically cheated its customers, lied to the government and misled the public about the true emissions and performance of vehicles equipped with “Clean Diesel” engines. Recent news stories have revealed this betrayal, with nearly half a million Volkswagen owners in the U.S. affected.

He initally spoke of the legal situation VW faced and how they have already come up with a fix for the cars sold in Europe, and are currently working to resolve their U.S. domestic problems. He was very appologetic and once that was out of the way he proceeded to discuss the new eGolf to be introduced later this year. The eGolf will be an electric vehicle full of high tech innovations, including connected capability and many other very cool innovations including improved mileage capability. He actually got me thinking about the possibility of buying one for my wife. So, good job Dr. Deiss!

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The next vehicle was like a feature laden 22nd century VW Van, as it communicated by voice commands and gestures. You can move the information panel icon screens around to suit your personal preferences, plus it has a lot of features I just didn’t see a need for, though they were all very cool. Maybe I am just too old, or I think a car should be for getting from place A to place B, not be a social media hub connected to your house and the rest of the world. There was one cool innovation that I think made a lot of sense; not necessarily how it was shown, but for it’s general convenience. Specifically, they demonstrated a UPS driver delivering a package to a drawer at the back of the van that could be opened so he could make a secure delivery to the vehicle. I see it as a way of storing things hands free.

Needless to say the auto industry has a vision of the automobile that doesn’t seem to include actually driving it. In any case, I look forward to seeing exactly how many of these gadgets actually become real.

 

Copy editor: Laurence A. Borden
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