Remember Herbie The Love Bug? The sentient anthropomorphized Volkswagen Beetle who just had a mind of his own and solved personal debates by winning races? Well, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO) might just have some technologies that bring us closer to having a reliable automotive buddy to help us not just on our journey through the road, but through life.
Previously the stuff of fiction, MELCO announced it will showcase its vision for the future of mobility at this year’s CES show in Las Vegas. “We have a culture of innovation and operational excellence that extends far beyond automotive, so we’re in a unique position to help automakers transition to lifestyle brands,” says Mark Rakoski, vice president of engineering at Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America.
Technologies being rolled out by MELCO this year include Predictive Human Machine Interface (HMI) and haptic feedback where you can literally feel the personalized interactions without manual customization. Biometric authentication is also a feature, the key fob fad a possible fling of the past with MELCO debuting biometric wearables for vehicle access control. These wearables are also meant to be alluring to automotive companies, with branding opportunities. You won’t have to drive the vehicle to let people know you have a Porsche, they’ll see your biometric wristband with the logo.
Self-driving cars connected to high-precision maps will also be on the docket, as well as using mobile payment integration, driver monitoring if you want to take the wheel, and roadway illumination. Use your car to take you where you want safely and accurately, buy its own gas — and even lunch — for you from the pit-stop off the highway. But you won’t just be connected to your car when you’re on the road, MELCO also promises to showcase technologies which connect your vehicle with smart home applications offering “exciting new conveniences and costs savings.”
Move over dogs, cars might just be man’s new best friend.