The CES Voyage Over The Years! Read This!- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

So, it’s that time of the year finally. The supersized buffet of consumer electronics show in Las Vegas is live now and we can’t just get over it. Most people have already jotted down their expectations from tech companies this year, and also know how people are responding out there. 
The speciality about CES is that it emphasizes on the future and Express Computer would be focussing on enlightening its readers with the major happenings and trends from the past years of CES. Let us know what are your expectations from CES, like and what have been the major themes in the past years, and this year, in the comments section below.
Here’s a throwback from the last 5 years:
CES 2015 didn’t begin with a bang as expected. This was majorly because Google hadn’t still closed its deal to acquire Nest. Apple, on the other hand, had continued to make itself a part of the conversation, mostly for the connected home. There have been a rise in the improvements of AI-based technology, like computer vision, voice recognition. 
Lastly, Mercedes Benz F10 was about to introduce the concept of an autonomous car. However, its prototype never really saw the light of the day. However, 2015 saw more vehicles, and that led the amount of investment to grow more in the auto sector.
Netflix had already spearheaded online streaming content and in 2016, it was expanding its service to 130 countries. Though there were other local players in the market, some experts argue that Netflix didn’t quite have the right mix of local and general content abroad as in the US. Also, automotive tech used to be a common theme in CES, there were lots in 2016. Automobile company GM unveiled a new car model, and also made a $500 million investment into Lyft. 
CES 2017 was majorly called an Alexa, Everywhere event. Though the Echo was launched in 2015, and the world already saw Alexa-integrated devices and Echo-based hardware, it was only in 2017 that this became a trend.
During this time, there was a strong trend of presenting home gadgets at the show, and Amazon had made a huge presence at the event. However, most people attending the event had the opinion that people have a lot of connected devices in their homes, but the question is how many people are actually using them?
2018 marked the premium year in which Google permeated CES with its own voice, rather its voice bot, Google Assistant. 2018 saw the emergence of Google Assistant with blanketing trains, billboards, and Google slogans, slides and gumball machines. It was brought up in connection in the event’s hardware and software splashes by way of integration. 
Last year’s theme at CES was to see how Chinese companies grow and operate in the US and the other Western markets. CES played out in a big way last year. There were massive visitors and exhibitors from China. Huawei had downplayed its presence, and ZTE wasn’t present at all. There were other themes going on last year like advanced media streaming that moved far away from being tied to large and expensive middleware to looking forward to supporting for multiple assistants on a single device.
What Does 2020 Hold For In CES?
2020 has a lot more in store, and undoubtedly, startups are going to have an upper hand. Silicon Valley-based VC Asha Jadeja Motwani, has recently announced the launch of India Tech Park at CES 2020. 
A platform for India startups working towards a sustainable future utilising technological innovation and creating products that tackle global problems. Most importantly, India Tech Park plans to showcase India’s blooming consumer electronic startups globally, and also expose them to the international startup ecosystem. 
Apart from this, there can be other trends like the presence of 5G phones and devices. To talk about that, TCL has already given a preview of its much-awaited sub-$500 5G phones, and also the future of 5G. As mentioned before, CES has become a lot more automobile-centric. The Detrioit Auto Show moved to June because the manufacturers wanted to launch their car at CES instead. Kickstarting today, CES would raise expectations in the tech world undoubtedly. 
Image Source: Chrome Unboxed

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Voyage raises $31 million to bring driverless taxis to communities – gpgmail

Voyage, the autonomous vehicle startup that spun out of Udacity, announced Thursday it has raised $31 million in a round led by Franklin Templeton.

Khosla Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures and Chevron Technology Ventures also participated in the round. The company, which operates a ride-hailing service in retirement communities using self-driving cars supported by human safety drivers, has raised a total of $52 million since launching in 2017. The new funding includes a $3 million convertible note.

Voyage CEO Oliver Cameron has big plans for the fresh injection of capital, including hiring and expanding its fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans, which always have a human safety driver behind the wheel.

Ultimately, the expanded G2 fleet and staff are just the means toward Cameron’s grander mission to turn Voyage into a truly driverless and profitable ride-hailing company.

“It’s not just about solving self-driving technology,” Cameron told gpgmail in a recent interview, explaining that a cost-effective vehicle designed to be driverless is the essential piece required to make this a profitable business.

The company is in the midst of a hiring campaign that Cameron hopes will take its 55-person staff to more than 150 over the next year. Voyage has had some success attracting high-profile people to fill executive-level positions, including CTO Drew Gray, who previously worked at Uber ATG, Otto, Cruise and Tesla, as well as former NIO and Tesla employee Davide Bacchet as director of autonomy.

Funds will also be used to increase its fleet of second-generation self-driving cars (called G2) that are currently being used in a 4,000-resident retirement community in San Jose, Calif., as well as The Villages, a 40-square-mile, 125,000-resident retirement city in Florida. Voyage’s G2 fleet has 12 vehicles. Cameron didn’t provide details on how many vehicles it will add to its G2 fleet, only describing it as a “nice jump that will allow us to serve consumers.”

Voyage used the G2 vehicles to create a template of sorts for its eventual driverless vehicle. This driverless product — a term Cameron has used in a previous post on Medium — will initially be limited to 25 miles per hour, which is the driving speed within the two retirement communities in which Voyage currently tests and operates. The vehicle might operate at a low speed, but they are capable of handling complex traffic interactions, he wrote.

“It won’t be the most cost-effective vehicle ever made because the industry still is in its infancy, but it will be a huge, huge, huge improvement over our G2 vehicle in terms of being be able to scale out a commercial service and make money on each ride,” Cameron said. 

Voyage initially used modified Ford Fusion vehicles to test its autonomous vehicle technology, then introduced in July 2018 Chrysler Pacifica minivans, its second generation of autonomous vehicles. But the end goal has always been a driverless product.

gpgmail previously reported that the company has partnered with an automaker to provide this next-generation vehicle that has been designed specifically for autonomous driving. Cameron wouldn’t name the automaker. The vehicle will be electric and it won’t be a retrofit like the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid vehicles Voyage currently uses or its first-generation vehicle, a Ford Fusion.

Most importantly, and a detail Cameron did share with gpgmail, is that the vehicle it uses for its driverless service will have redundancies and safety-critical applications built into it.

Voyage also has deals in place with Enterprise rental cars and Intact insurance company to help it scale.

“You can imagine leasing is much more optimal than purchasing and owning vehicles on your balance sheet,” Cameron said. “We have those deals in place that will allow us to not only get the vehicle costs down, but other aspects of the vehicle into the right place as well.”

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