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Improved safety on the roads, in-vehicle connectivity and the advent of the autonomous car are expected to be among the major automotive trends at CES 2016, scheduled January 6-9, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for more than 45 years as the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace.

As the largest hands-on event of its kind, CES features all aspects of the industry. And because it is owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, the U.S.-based technology trade association representing the $286 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry, it attracts the world’s business leaders and thinkers to a forum where the industry’s most relevant issues are addressed.

Automotive Industries (AI) asked Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), what “sneak peaks” will visitors to CES Unveiled New York.

Shapiro: CEA hosts several Unveiled events throughout the year, both in the U.S. and abroad as a preview of the technology trends expected at the upcoming CES in Las Vegas. CES Unveiled New York is scheduled for November 10 and will feature dynamic tabletop displays, the annual pre-CES press conference and CEA market research presentations surrounding the upcoming holiday buying season. The event is tremendously exciting because many of the products on display will hit store shelves just in time for the holidays. The Best of CES Innovations Awards are announced each November at CES Unveiled New York, and honor the most innovative products across the entire tech ecosystem. Attendees at Unveiled New York will get an up-close pre-CES experience with the chance to witness some of the major trends expected at the 2016 show including automotive technology, smart watches, unmanned systems, 3D printing, fitness tech, robotics, apps and more.

AI: What has been the interest in CES 2016 by the motor industry?

Shapiro: The 2015 CES was a record-breaking year surrounding the automotive category. The show featured the most automakers in show history including Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, KIA, Honda, Mercedes, Toyota and Volkswagen and more than 165,000 net square feet (15,320 net square meters) dedicated to automotive technologies.

Cars continue to become more connected and, as a result, the number of automakers and automotive technology companies at CES continues to rise. We expect the automotive story to be big at the upcoming CES 2016. From the aftermarket, expect to see many implementations of Android and iOS in the car now that both operating systems have released software development packages to help design for the vehicle cockpit. From vehicle manufacturers, attendees will see “vehicle cockpits of the future” displays, in addition to increased in-vehicle connectivity, aided by mobile phone carriers. The future of autonomous driving will also be on display.

AI: What industry trends are indicated by the exhibitors?

Shapiro: Attendees at CES 2016 will see the latest innovations hitting the marketplace from more than 3,600 companies across more than two million net square feet of exhibit space (185,800 net square meters), including some 400 startups. From the latest apps to gaming, automotive, 3D printing, robotics, unmanned systems, iProducts, lifestyle technologies, sensors, smart home and beyond, the next generation of technology will be on display CES 2016.

AI: Which topics will be covered at the CES conferences?

Shapiro: The CES conference program features 220 sessions and some 900 industry experts. The program is consistently ranked as a top speaking opportunity for CEOs and showcases industry speakers addressing the latest trends, strategies and upcoming business opportunities through cutting-edge sessions. Topics cover the full scope of the industry, from trends in the automotive market to smart home solutions, cyber security, personal privacy, high-resolution audio, wearables and more.

AI: Tell us a bit more about Gary’s Book Club.

Shapiro: CEA has published three best-selling books focused on innovation, Digital Destiny: How the New Age of Data Will Transform the Way We Work, Live, and Communicate; Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World’s Most Successful Businesses and The Comeback:

How Innovation will Restore the American Dream. We wanted to provide a forum at CES for authors in the tech industry who are exploring technology’s role in today’s society to showcase their work and thus, Gary’s Book Club was born.

Our book club lounge has become a unique and popular destination where CES attendees can interact with a dynamic group of authors with incredible industry knowledge and experience. At the 2015 CES, Gary’s Book Club welcomed 12 top tech authors and visionaries including CEA’s Chief Economist Shawn DuBravac, Aneesh Chopra, former Chief Technology Officer of the United States and Alexis Ohanian, co-founder and executive chairman of reddit. We are excited to bring the program back for its third year at the 2016 CES.

AI: Please give us 10 good reasons for decision-makers in the auto industry to attend CES 2016.

Shapiro: The reasons to attend CES 2016 are numerous and I could list them for hours! But if I’m limited to just 10 good reasons to attend, they are:

1.) CES is all-inclusive and covers the entire technology ecosystem. The magic of CES is in its mix of inspiring innovations and tangible applications. It’s the only event of its kind where you can not only see the major car companies, but their suppliers like Continental, Delphi, TRW, Valeo and Visteon. Plus auto electronics aftermarket companies like list a few major auto aftermarket companies.

2.) CES is a global platform for innovators – both big and small. Everyone with an idea is welcome to exhibit and several small startups and entrepreneurs got their start at CES including Oculus Rift, Markerbot and Sling. You never know what the next big thing will be at CES!

3.) Nearly every major technology company is at CES. Every major technology company participates in CES, by exhibiting, speaking, sponsoring, attending or holding co-located events and business meetings.

4.) CES is truly global. More than 45,000 international professionals from 150 countries attend CES.

5.) CES attracts industry experts. Within 220 conference sessions, we feature 900 top-name speakers. Previous CES speakers include Nobel Prize winner Prof. Shuji Nakamura, Ford’s Mark Shields, Daimler’s Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CBS’s Leslie Moonves and Samsung’s Boo-Keun Yoon.

6.) CES is where business gets done. CES saves executives from traveling an estimated 3.5 million miles for business trips because so many of the key people they need to meet are also at the show.

7.) CES is a proving ground. It’s where innovators have introduced breakthrough technologies for more than 45 years. From the DVD, Satellite Radio, HD Television to 4K Ultra HD TV, tablets and 3D printers, CES is where game-changing technologies are launched.

8.) CES connects people. CES’ strength is that it attracts thousands of top executives in connected industries. The exhibits not only inspire, they attract related businesses. You’ll mix with senior executives from Fortune 100 companies and reporters from global media just as easily as you’ll encounter enterprising venture capitalists, stumble upon entrepreneurs from eager startups and hang out with avid tech enthusiasts.

9.) CES benefits the entire consumer technology industry. All show revenue is reinvested into the industry through CEA programs and initiatives.

10) CES is innovation! CES 2016 will feature more than 3,600 exhibitors across more than two million net square feet of exhibit space (185,800 net square meters). The next generation of consumer technology will be unveiled at CES 2016, January 6-9 and we hope to see you there!

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