News coverage of the CES 2017 Conference for emerging impact driven markets
#CES2017 | Thursday, January 5th – Sunday, January 8th, 2017

Set in Las Vegas, Nevada – a city that recently announced to be completely run on renewable energy, this year’s CES conference was charged and ready to impact cleantech before it even started. Tesla and Panasonic began the CES media headline whirlwind by hosting an invite-only “investor event” at the Gigafactory in Reno, Nevada the day before and announcing the factory’s kick-off of battery production.

Tesla’s storage news and economies of scale of the battery will lead to increased adoption of distributed energy storage, strengthening the future of the grid as we know it. Reporters also glorified this announcement as a crucial step in making the Model 3, Tesla’s lowest-cost car, economically viable. From the beginning, CES was all about the cars. The biggest impact technology trends from CES emerged from the Internet of Things (IoT) and electric & autonomous vehicles spaces.

Photo by ETC-USC / CC BY

IoT Transformation

Chief Economist Shawn DuBravac of the Consumer Technology Association, described the IoT transformation as an industry with “increasingly intelligent systems connecting diverse objects”. Amazon’s Alexa– a smart home hub, proved wildly successful and to be just that.

It acts like a voice-enabled assistant and is now integrated to work with hundreds of products like a Ford car or an LG fridge. As a result, different brands were eager to introduce Alexa at the show. These Alexa enabled devices and Alexa’s success are results of Amazon’s “willingness to share its tech.” By collaborating across brands, the smart operating system is able to expand its consumer offerings. This open brand policy is similar to the smart city hub Totem Power, which combines renewable energy, energy storage, WiFi/4G connectivity, EV charging and smart lighting into a single platform.

Transportation Takeover

The term V2X, which stands for vehicle-to-everything, gained popularity as it was announced with the new launch of Commsignia’s smart city enabler product, the V2X Traffic Light for Self-Driving Cars. Similar to V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle), V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure), V2G (vehicle-to-grid), and V2P (vehicle-to-people) V2X is wireless communication; it connects vehicles to each other and the infrastructure. The infrastructure rollout to support electronic and autonomous vehicles has definitely begun.

With companies like Audi, Nvidia and Toyota announcing autonomous vehicle concepts, as well as Honda and Faraday Future debuting EV concepts at the CES show, many people might have wondered how CES became so automobile heavy. Greentech Media contributor Katie Fehrenbacher best explained this in her coverage of the Fiat Chrysler electric minivan with, “When cars go all-electric, they become more like large consumer electronics device themselves, so it makes sense that CES is now a promising venue for the industry.”

IoT and electric and autonomous vehicles were dominant themes among this year’s CES media buzz. Enabled by synergies across brands and industries, the electric technology market proved flexible and open to new ideas setting the stage for cleantech to gain greater adoption.

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Lisa is an Account Executive at Eco Branding based in Brooklyn, NY.

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