Big developments in the automotive world at CES 2021!

Aymen Ismail
6 min readFeb 23, 2021

54 years ago, the Consumer electronics show, also known as CES, was first held in New York city in 1967, where the kick-off speaker was Motorola chairman Bob Galvin, where pocket radios and TVs with integrated circuits where introduced with around 200 exhibitors and 17,500 attendants in the course of 4 days. Now in 2021, Billie Eilish held a digital performance and the event is held completely digitally.

For the automotive industry, for around 10 years now, CES has been where much of the real action takes place when it comes to infotainment, connectivity as well as new futuristic models introduction. And around 2015, it was recognized by the automakers of the world that they are also to be considered, at a certain level, technology companies.

Now, CES is the world biggest annual Consumer Electronics Show and rather than taking over the ‘Neon Capital of the World’ Las Vegas, the COVID-19 Pandemic has forced the show to go digital.

Here are the major highlights of the automotive industry during CES2021:

The Hyperscreen from Mercedes-Benz

MBUX Hyperscreen

The ‘big in-car cinema’ as they call it, is the next generation MBUX infotainment system from Mercedes-Benz. A single piece of 56-inch wide curved glass along with 3 OLED touch screens will be the star of their upcoming EQS electric luxury sedan.

Mercedes-Benz stresses the thought that has been put into the vehicle’s interface to ensure users don’t need to thumb through buttons to reach the desired setting, thanks to a “zero-level” screen, major applications can be accessed immediately.

“The MBUX Hyperscreen is both the brain and nervous system of the car” Sajjad Khan, board member for Mercedes-Benz AG and CTO.

Added to this is artificial intelligence with software capable of learning, the display and operating concept adapts completely to its user and makes personalized suggestions for numerous infotainment, comfort and vehicle functions.

To find out more about Mercedes-Benz’s Hyper Screen, click here.

BMW teases the new iDrive

20 years after its first launch in the 2001 7 Series, BMW revealed the future of its iDrive system, which will crown their new iX electric SUV. Buttons on current models are replaced by touch-sensitive icons for the iX, and the new system features a large single panel housing two displays for driver information, maps, media and more.

BMW claims this means the car has access to more hazard information than the driver, for example by receiving and displaying warnings from other BMW vehicles via the cloud. Other feature will include the ability to predict the availability of parking spaces at a destination.

To find out more about BMW iDrive, Click here.

GM goes all-in!

This year GM treated the digital keynote like a full-on event, and they have revealed various futuristic concepts and teasers across its spectrum of companies, flying cars, self-driving pods, performance Chevys, Cadillac flagships and more was revealed.

  1. Cadillac flying car — eVTOL

A vertical takeoff and land creation that looks like a cross between a helicopter and a drone. A fully autonomous, all-electric aircraft with the promise of ‘convenient and luxurious commute’. It is designed for one single passenger, and the concept utilizes a co-axial rotor propulsion system and is powered by next-generation battery technology, reaching speeds of up to 56 mph (90kph).

2. GMC Hummer EV

And it made a buzz! it will do Zero-60mph in 30 seconds. The truck will be followed by the 2023 GMC Hummer EV SUV that essentially closes in the truck bed to create an SUV and its all electric.

To find out about GM’s keynote and revealed concepts and teasers, click here.

Sony showcases its Vision-S on the roads in Austria

During CES 2020, Sony revealed its Vision-S, and it was considered a concept and nothing more. Now they came with a video showcasing their public road testing video in Austria, camouflaged and with license plates to showcase their seriousness with its intentions to penetrate the automotive world.

The Vision-S has a dual-motor setup with two 200 kW electric motors and all-wheel drive. Sony claims the car can accelerate from 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 4.8 seconds, and the top speed is rated at 240 km/h (149 mph). A double wishbone suspension is used with an air spring system.

To find out more about Sony’s Vision-S, click here.

Sono Motors drives its Solar EV into CES 2021

Seeking to shake up and revolutionize the way consumers driving and ownership experience, a new vehicle category is introduced by Sono Motors: Solar EV. Its prototype community-led next-generation vehicle “Sion” blends the disruptive technology of solar with affordability, aiming to allow individuals to contribute to global sustainability in a convenient way. The Sion is offers a one-size-fits-all package at the price of Euro25,500.

It features a lithium-ion battery that, when fully charged, provides a driving range of up to 255km, according to WLTP standards. In addition to the battery, the Sion solar car is integrated with more than 248 solar cells in the body. This allows the car to charge throughout the day with the power of the sun — and it will still charge while driving. The integrated solar panels provide an additional range of up to 35km per day, making it fully self-sufficient for short-distance driving.

The Sion also allows for power-sharing, which allows it to become a mobile charging station that powers and can provide energy for electronic devices and even other EVs, with up to 11KW of power.

To find out more about The Sion, click here

Automotive goes more digital

You can notice this year how the fast paced development in the vehicle technologies is shaping up, and it is all showcased by almost all OEMs, original equipment manufacturers, during CES 2021. The Vehicle technologies showcased included cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) features, mobility-as-a-service (MaaS), autonomous vehicles (AVs) and electrification. And as we, as consumers, are now expecting more from our cars, it will be exciting to see how the advancement of this industry will be shaped in the next 10 years.

Till CES2022….

Originally published at



Aymen Ismail

🌍Globetrotting Customer Engagement & Experience Visionary. 🏅Voted twice Customer Engagement Industry Champion. Disrupter, Passionate Soeaker & Legacy Maker.