Geeky though it may be, however, CES is really the harbinger of all that is new in the digital world. And electronics are seemingly important enough that automakers are now unveiling all new cars in Vegas, just a week ahead of the once omnipotent Detroit North American International Auto Show.
The problem with being dazzled is that the hype seldom matches reality. So it was that
Only it's an illusion. The technology that will allow a car to drive itself to far-flung destinations with no one behind the wheel is, if not quite ready for prime time, certainly on the horizon.
What still very much needs to be ironed out is who is responsible for that car when no one is behind the wheel. That is, if the car suffers a glitch – like your laptop just last week – and runs down a load of schoolchildren, who is responsible?
Nor was the question of autonomous motoring the only legality raised at this year's monster electronics exhibition.
But, as has become readily apparent in recent months, the question of who owns all that data
Such technology may prove even more invasive to our privacy than our smartphones. We can, after all, shut those down; these new cars will always be "connected". Police already access the on-board versions of these black boxes in case of accidents. Will they be able to access
What else was there? Ford showed off some updated apps – one can help you order pizza from Domino's – for its Sync system and showed off a C-Max Hybrid with a solar panel built into its roof.
On a thankfully less geeky note, Chevrolet announced a Performance Data Recorder option for its Corvette complete with a 720P windscreen-mounted video camera that lets you automatically record and display your latest racetrack foray. Score one for the gearheads.
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