Unusual cars appear at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) every year, but most of them remain conceptual models and never make it to market. This year at CES 2023 in Las Vegas, a few interesting cars have been shown that came to us as if from the future. And it's not impossible that some of them will be on sale in the coming years.
The California-based Aska company has presented a working prototype of a flying car, which can be put into production already in 2026. However, you will need a pilot's license. And about $800,000 to buy one.
The prototype known as the A5 looks like a mix of a helicopter, an airplane and a futuristic car. The manufacturer itself calls it the world's first eVTOL vehicle – an electric car with vertical takeoff and landing. However, this car isn't actually all-electric: it uses electricity mostly for takeoff and landing, but there's also a gasoline engine that runs on premium fuel and provides a range of up to 250 miles. How long the car can go on solid ground is not yet known. Many other specs, including power rating or battery capacity, are also not yet known.
The A5 itself is about the size of an SUV, and it has large fenders that retract in hard-land riding mode. The cabin, according to the manufacturer, is big enough to carry four passengers comfortably. There's also a parachute – big enough to bring the car down to the ground if something goes wrong in the air.
Co-founder Guy Kaplinsky expects the A5 to get FAA certification "within a month," and if there are no problems with that, you could be flying the winged helicopter car to work in as little as three years.
Automobile manufacturer BMW at the CES 2023 showed a concept car chameleon, which can change the color of the body or its individual parts. The company demonstrated a similar technology last year, but then only different sahdes of gray were available. Now any of the 240 body segments of the BMW i Vision Dee can be instantly painted in one of 32 colors.
The car is also home to the Digital Emotional Experience, which can express emotions through its headlights (their shape can be changed) and grille, communicate with the driver, and display information on the projection screen on the windshield.
For now, the chameleon car is presented as a concept: the technology, based on panels receiving electrical impulses, is not yet ready for real production. But it does look really impressive.
Unlike the previous two vehicles, the Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept, unveiled at CES 2023 by Stellantis, looks quite ordinary – like most other pickups. However, it is electric, and it has a pretty good chance to enter the market next year.
From Ram 1500, one of the most iconic trucks in the U.S., the new concept model is distinguished by an updated design with elements of "hourglass", the luminous logo on the body and doors that open towards each other. It has a two-core cabin, and the rear wall is transformable: it can be either folded to carry bulky loads, or unfolded and received two additional passenger seats. There are four separate seats with safety belts in the cabin.
The Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept is built on the STLA Frame platform, which includes a frame, 800-volt electrical system that supports charging stations up to 350 kW, two electric motors that provide four-wheel drive, and a battery with a range of up to 800 km.
Another interesting feature of the new pickup is the autopilot with Shadow Mode function, thanks to which the car can follow the owner walking on the road.
The pickup is expected to go on sale as early as 2024.
Cyclists call this phenomenon dooring. Here, you're riding peacefully in a bike lane, and suddenly someone in a parked car suddenly opens the door and you crash into it. According to a 2011 study of bicycle accidents in Chicago, one in five injuries to bicyclists, including fatalities, are related specifically to "dooring."
At this year's CES, HCMF Group and TMYTEK (Taiwan), working together, unveiled a curious technology that could help bicyclists and car drivers. The patented millimeter-range radar built into the car can quickly detect fast-moving objects approaching the car, allowing a second technology, a car door with sensors, to alert the driver or even lock itself until the cyclist passes.
Until these technologies hit the market, it is recommended to open the car door with the far hand: that way you have to turn around, and you can spot cyclists or other cars approaching you.