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Automotive technology and exhibits have become an integral part of the annual International CES® held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Delegates in 2013 can look forward to the expansion of popular exhibits such as the Eureka Park TechZone, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), which owns and produces the event.

The highly anticipated technology event is set to take place from 8-11 January, 2013 and with 40 percent more space for the Eureka Park floor attraction sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Startup America Partnership, it will draw crowds of venture capitalists, media, buyers and other attendees interested in the latest innovations and emerging technologies. “CES is as much for startup companies looking to make a name for themselves as it is for the big-name companies leveraging the world’s largest technology event,” says Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. “The entrepreneurs in Eureka Park are helping to fuel our economy by creating jobs and producing innovative goods and services.” An independent audit, performed by Veris Consulting, LLC confirmed that CES is the world’s most important technology event, and the largest annual tradeshow of any kind in North America.

The 2012 International CES, held from 10-13 January, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada, spanned 1.86 million net square feet of exhibit space and welcomed a record 156,153 industry professionals in total. After the United States, the top 10 countries represented in terms of attendance were Canada, South Korea, Japan, China, Mexico, United Kingdom, France, Taiwan, Germany and Brazil.

Senior-level executives and top decision makers continued to take advantage of the networking and business opportunities at the 2012 CES. According to the Veris audit, 43 percent of attendees were senior-level executives. Presidents, CEOs and/or business owners made up 15 percent of attendees. Nearly one-third of all attendees are the final decision makers when it comes to new product purchases or partnerships with other companies, with 97 percent identified as having buying decision influence. More than 12,000 attendees represented companies with more than $500 million in total annual sales, up 4 percent over 2011.

The Veris audit also confirmed that CES attracts leaders from diverse business areas including entertainment, retail, education, engineering and venture capital industries. This year, more than 12,000 retail buying organizations, 5,000 manufacturers and 6,000 engineering companies attended CES. Additionally, after a successful inaugural Entertainment Matters program at the 2011 CES, more than 32,000 attendees from the content development and entertainment industry returned to the show in 2012.
The 2012 CES also brought together top government officials from the Obama administration, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, Federal Communications Commission, Office of Management and Budget, Office of Science and Technology Policy, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. International Trade Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Automotive company Mercedes Benz showcased technologies such as DICE (Dynamic & Intuitive Control Experience) sculpture which offers a vision of the interactive, intuitive and simultaneously safe operating experience in premium automobiles of the future. DICE demonstrated how the vehicle can become an intelligent mobility partner through bidirectional interaction.

Automotive Industries (AI) asked Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA, what he is expecting in terms of new technologies at the 2013 International CES.

: We expect to see manufacturers significantly expanding on themes observed at the 2012 CES, with a few new twists. Televisions remain central to CES, and we expect more manufacturers will show advanced OLED displays with 4k resolution. Mobile, connected devices such as tablets and smartphones are leading industry growth and we’ll see more advancement here in terms of technology and product segmentation. These developments will impact the constellation of automotive technologies as they assume a great role in the universe of consumer electronics. The in-car experience is increasingly dominated by brought-in or embedded connectivity. Smartphone integration solutions using USB, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (and possibly NFC) continue to proliferate here. The first 3G-enhanced cars were shown at 2012 CES, so you can expect LTE cars at 2013 CES.

Wi-Fi got a lot of attention this year among auto makers, so expect even more focus on Wi-Fi, mostly enabled by phones with that capability. Wi-Fi can turn the car into a hot spot and allow the car to use the phone for connecting to services. Also, we may see NFC making connections in the car simpler, which could mean more streaming audio and Internet radio options for consumers. Enhanced and increased connectivity in cars will allow enhancements to predict traffic systems and more driver interaction such as enabling the driver to report accidents, traffic incidents, speed limits and red light cameras. Voice recognition in the car for search and control will take a central role.
New vehicles will also likely incorporate more sensors to monitor driver behavior and surrounding traffic for safer driving. In the aftermarket, OnStar’s FMV aftermarket mirror has inspired development of competing products with navigation and smartphone connectivity. Connectivity will facilitate more app-enabled ‘head units’ such as the Pioneer AppRadio 2. And there will be more aftermarket safety systems similar to iOnroad and Mobileye to bring safe-driving solutions to the masses.

AI: How would you rate the success of this year’s event?
Shapiro: The 2012 CES was the most phenomenal show in our history, generating more energy and excitement across every major industry involved with technology than ever before. CES is the change agent, the catalyst, that brings executives from a wide range of industries together and helps them create better ways of doing business. The 2012 CES featured more innovative technology products than anywhere else in the world, and is a testament to the dynamic and innovative global consumer technology industry, which will reach $1 trillion globally this year.

The 2012 show was a record breaker – the largest in the event’s 44 year history. We had a record number of 3,319 exhibitors across the largest show floor in CES history and 156,153 attendees, including more than 35,000 international attendees. Approximately 20,000 new products were launched, which also featured top executives in keynote sessions including those from Microsoft, Qualcomm, Mercedes, Wal-Mart, Intel, Ford, Verizon, Unilver, Ford, eBay, GE, Google and Facebook. Executive delegations from thousands of global companies, from Apple to Zeo attended the 2012 CES to meet with current and future customers.

: What is the CEA planning in order to make next year’s CES even bigger and better?
Shapiro: Popular exhibits that will be returning include the iLounge Pavilion, Gaming, GoElectricDrive, HigherEd Tech, Kids@Play, MommyTech, Silvers Summit and Sustainable Planet, CEPro@CES and PMA@CES. With six months until the next show, you can be sure we’ll have a lot of 2013 CES show news over the next few months.

also asked Karen Chupka, Senior Vice President of Events and Conferences at CEA to describe how the growing interest of automotive OEMs showcasing at electronics shows like CES has impacted the event.

: The market opportunity for in-vehicle technology is squarely centered on vehicle OEMs and the aftermarket, both prominently featured at the 2012 International CES. In 2011, vehicle OEMs accounted for nearly two-thirds of $9.3 billion in wholesale industry dollars for in-vehicle technology. The aftermarket continues to play a vital role as in-vehicle technology has shifted from replacement factory technologies, like car stereos, to safely integrating mobile devices like phones, MP3 players and tablets.

: What makes CES a good platform for automotive manufacturers to showcase their latest electronic breakthroughs?
Chupka: CES is the must-attend event for auto manufacturers and OEMs. The 2012 International CES attracted most of the world’s top ten automotive manufacturers including Audi, Cadillac, Chrysler, Ford, GM/OnStar, Kia and Mercedes. More than 450 exhibitors featured products in the automotive product category including companies like Delphi and Nvidia. Exhibitors in the automotive technology category covered more than 10,000 net square feet of exhibit space, up 10 percent on the previous year.

: How has the CES been impacted by the growing economic power of China, Brazil, Russia and India?
Chupka: We have seen strong numbers both on the exhibitor and attendee side from the BRIC countries. More than 900 exhibitors have headquarters in these countries, and three of the four were represented in our top 20 Non-U.S. attendee markets. China was ranked 4th with 1,568 attendees, Brazil 10th with 745 and Russia 19th with 197 attendees.

: Tell us a little about what the 2012 CES featured in terms of latest in-vehicle-infotainment.
Chupka: At the 2012 CES we saw aftermarket innovation that focused on tablet integration, internet radio solutions, Android-based stereos using apps, aftermarket / driver safety solutions, hands-free calling kits, backup cameras and head rest mounting brackets for back seat entertainment. Attendees also saw more electric vehicles and charging solutions at the 2012 CES than ever before.

: What are some of the trends you have noticed in end-user demands for in-vehicle electronics and infotain¬ment systems?
Chupka: As evidenced from the CES, connectivity is a big trend in vehicle technology today. Smartphones are driving consumer interest in connectivity in the vehicle, and CEA market research shows consumer demand and usage revolves around communication, navigation and music. For communication, hands-free calling systems are gaining popularity (especially in states requiring them). Free navigation apps like Google maps are popular and Internet-radio services deliver alternatives to installed audio systems.

One reason smartphones are driving demand is cost-savings, which underscores consumers’ interest in aftermarket solutions. We see less consumer demand for OEM solutions which are perceived as costly, not only for the hardware, but also the subscription fees. Some other areas of burgeoning consumer interest are safety and efficiency. They are attracted to hardware solutions or apps to help them drive more safely and/or save money at the pump. While consumers are increasingly introduced to advanced safety and driver-assistance systems through new vehicles, aftermarket solutions and apps are beginning to appear and should stimulate demand for the cost saving reasons mentioned above. Increasing consumer demand for fuel efficiency is obvious and the number of ‘green driving’ apps for smartphones are multiplying rapidly. Most are free.

AI: What are some of the automotive related activities planned for CES 2013?
Chupka: The 2013 International CES will bring back the GoElectricDrive TechZone which will showcase electric vehicles and their associated charge stations for homes, condominiums, public facilities, and a range of electric mobility products and services will be on display. At this point, we also have two conference sessions planned surrounding the automotive world:

  • Are Automakers Running the Aftermarket Off the Road? This session will provide opportunities for suppliers and retailers to comment on aftermarket technologies which have reached an all-time low as it has become increasingly difficult to integrate audio systems and other electronics systems into OEM dashboards. Automotive and aftermarket executives face off in a spirited debate over the future of the car aftermarket.
  • Dashboard Tech: 5 Hot Trends Coming Down the Pike. From in-dash apps for Facebook and Google Local Search, smartphone integration, apps that let you control the car with your phone, to voice-controlled dashboards, in-vehicle tech is one of the most dynamic areas in consumer electronics today. A leading expert in car technology dissects the trends that are reshaping car electronics.

AI: What was the reaction to the Eureka Park TechZone this year? How important is it for CES to be the platform to showcase latest technologies?
Chupka: The Eureka Park TechZone could not have been more successful. We were overwhelmed with media and attendee inquiries about this brand new show floor destination highlighting startup companies and innovation on the cutting edge. More than 102 exhibitors participated across 10,200 net square feet of exhibit space. We will be expanding to at least 14,000 net square feet for the 2013 show. The Eureka Park TechZone embodies the spirit of innovation regularly promoted by CEA.

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