Throaty Kias and infotainment
When it comes to automotive technology, it's always fun to swing by the QNX booth. What they're demoing is usually years away at best, but it's cool nonetheless. This year at CES 2014, QNX is showing off two cars: a Kia Soul and a Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG.
The Kia demonstration was wild, with QNX Acoustics leveraging microphones and speakers to cancel out in-cabin engine noise. But that same system can also be used to change the sound that passengers hear from the car. Using inputs from the accelerator and breaking pedal, the system, can replicate the aural sensation of a completely different vehicle. Is it a silly and suporflous system? Sure, but it's still fun.
The Mercedes CLA45 AMG — an amazing car in its own right — saw a complete revamp of its infotainment system. A massive display now dominates the center dash, stretching from the edge of the steering wheel to the center of the passenger-side seat. The giant display supports standard operations like media control and navigation, but also can run Android apps and be controlled with natural speech recognition. A second smaller (but still large for a car) display sits behing the steering wheel where the gauge cluster would normally go, replicating those functions in a more customizable manner.