CES 2017: Faraday Future FF91, Toyota Concept-i Among Top Driverless Cars At Event

CES 2017 may be mostly about consumer electronics, just as the acronym CES (Consumer Electronics Show) suggests. But just like recent iterations of the annual expo, it’s also been a platform for automakers to unveil their new concept vehicles, including a number of driverless cars.

One of the top driverless cars that drew a lot of interest at CES 2017 was the Faraday Future FF91. As Digital Trends wrote, it was a long and hard road toward this year’s Consumer Electronics Show for Faraday Future. Following the automaker’s CES debut in 2016, there were myriad challenges along the way, as Faraday was sued by suppliers and had to temporarily stop construction. But the company has made it to this year’s CES, and the FF91 has generated a great deal of interest, with its claimed 2.39-second 0-60 mph time, and 1,050-horsepower all-electric powertrain. The car also comes with some high-end tech features, including LIDAR for self-driving capabilities, and facial recognition tech for unlocking it.

Digital Trends got a first-hand look at the Faraday Future FF91, and while the publication only got a limited demo, it did acknowledge that the car shows a lot of promise, despite not offering “(anything new)” when it came to self-driving technology.

“This hands-off demo was too limited to get a sense of its performance capabilities, but it was impressive enough to make us want to try it ourselves. We also would’ve liked to have been able to see some of the more unique functions, like its facial recognition and connectivity capabilities.”

U.K. publication Mirror listed several driverless cars it found impressive, including two city cars with advanced technology features. The Rinspeed Oasis is a Swiss-made vehicle, a self-driving two-seater whose autonomous features include a personal assistant, and the choice for drivers to steer the car manually or delegate driving duties to the car’s AI. The Oasis also has a windscreen for augmented driving, a glass roof that doubles as a solar panel, and a giant-sized 5K display.

Honda’s NeuV has been referred to as an “Electric Urban Vehicle,” and it’s part of the Japanese carmaker’s ride-sharing initiative, even as it remains a concept car at the moment. Its main come-on is its “emotion engine,” a software package that generates emotions, and allows for more human-like interactions between the car and its driver/passengers. But it might be several years before the NeuV becomes available to the public, Mirror stressed.

Driving can be difficult – and very dangerous – if you suddenly get sleepy while behind the wheel. But Toyota’s driverless car offering for CES 2017 may potentially solve that problem.

Inhabitat wrote that the Toyota Concept-i is “designed from the inside out to give the vehicle a warm and friendly user experience,” a car with an advanced artificial intelligence system called Yui to facilitate such an experience.

“Instead of displaying important information on a digital screen, Yui uses lights, sounds and even touch to communicate critical information,” Inhabitat explained. “Colored lights in the foot wells indicate whether the vehicle is in automated or manual drive, projectors in the rear deck project views onto the seat pillar to help warn about blind spots and a next-generation head up helps keep the driver’s eyes on the road.”

Once again, it may take some time before the Concept-i becomes reality, as Inhabitat noted that Toyota is planning to start on-road evaluation “within the next few years,” and in the automaker’s home country of Japan.

That’s only a small sampling of the driverless cars that have been on display since CES 2017 opened its doors in Las Vegas on Thursday. And as we’re seeing, it looks like automakers will continue using this yearly tech expo to preview their fancy autonomous concepts, even if most of them may still be far from a general public release.

[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]