DeepDrive @ CES: Debrief

DeepDrive Blog: 13.01.2022

Our Co-Founders and Managing Directors, Stefan Ender & Felix Pörnbacher, just came back from CES 2023 in Las Vegas, and they did have a blast!

We talked to them to find out what their personal CES highlights were and which automotive trends they found most appealing. Find the summary of this conversation below:

Their clear highlights definitely were:

  • meeting existing and potential customers on-site. It was great to meet further members of teams we already work with, get to know fellow founders and chat with them about shared experiences, and of course, meet companies that work on exciting new products offering the perfect use case for our motor technology. They came back with a long list for our sales team and we are thrilled to further intensify these newly made connections.
  • partaking in an Expert Talk organised by Mobility in Harmony on the topic: How Startups innovate the EV ecosystem. Felix joined MIH CEO Jack Cheng and C2A Security CEO Roy Fridmann on stage. Together they discussed the future of electric mobility and how partnerships between large automotive corporations and new players in the industry, like the one we have with MIH, can further push the boundaries of the revolution of the industry.
  • and of course witnessing that the most influential Consumer Technology Tradeshow more than ever puts the car in the spotlight and, what makes us especially happy at DeepDrive, with a particular focus on electric vehicles.

CES Industry Trends:

  • As mentioned above, the most apparent automotive focus was electric vehicles (EVs). Particularly enticing to Stefan and Felix were the many in-wheel projects that were presented at CES 23, such as the Dutch company Lightyear. Lightyear develops solar-powered electric cars and is dedicated to efficiency. Therefore, Lightyear relies on wheel hub motors for the Lightyear 0 which began production last year, but also for the Lightyear 2 which is planned to roll off the production line by the end of 2025. Further interesting in-wheel projects were introduced by Lordstown, Applied EV, and HL Mando. Finally, it was more than fascinating to see Indigo‘s Robotic Wheel with in-wheel motor technology in person.
  • A further prominent trend at CES 23 was definitely autonomous vehicles. ZF, for instance, announced an autonomous shuttle (SAE level 4) with a purely electric range of 130 kilometers. The vehicle with selectable battery capacities between 50 and 100 kWh will be equipped with state-of-the-art sensor technology consisting of lidar, radar, camera, and noise detection systems. However, not only large Tier-1 suppliers play an important role in creating the future of autonomous driving, but also emerging players, such as the Munich-based startup Driveblocks. It was great to see our friends exhibiting their modular software platform for automated and autonomous driving in the commercial vehicle sector.
  • Finally, the transformation of the in-vehicle experience was a highly discussed topic. This ranges from concepts such as screenification to the disappearance of screens in their totality. Among the players who definitely count on screens, Felix and Stefan found two most appealing: Volkswagen’s ID.7, which features a 38cm screen and illuminated touch sliders as well as Continental‘s ultrawide In2visible HMI surface, measuring 1.29m in width, with an integrated, haptically supported control panel. One OEM that definitely stood out at CES 23, was BMW introducing its i Vision Dee (a digital emotional experience) that looks at makings screens disappear altogether. According to BMW CEO, Oliver Zipse, “digital leadership in the car is not about who has the biggest screen, what really counts is what the user feels and experiences”. Thus, instead of equipping the driver’s space with screens, BMW counts on head-up display (HUD) projections that can span the width of the windscreen.

We are happy to be able to be at the forefront of technological disruption among top players in the market and cannot wait for CES 24!

About DeepDrive

DeepDrive is a Munich-based high-tech startup offering e-motors for EVs. With our revolutionary new electric motor technology, we address the main problems of today’s electric vehicles by significantly reducing their cost by €3,000+ and increasing vehicle range by 20%. In addition, the technology is so compact that, instead of a central position, it can be integrated inside the wheels. At DeepDrive, we combine a radically new design with proven, deep expertise in the industrialisation of powertrains and develop a technology made for low-cost large-scale production. We received huge interest from the automotive industry and are working with 8 of the top 10 automakers in multiple development projects. With main partnerships already set up, we aim to start small series production by 2024 and proceed with large-scale series production by 2026.

DeepDrive is backed by renowned high-tech investors such as UVC Partners and Bayern Kapital, as well as business angels Jonas Rieke (COO of Personio) and Peter Mertens (former board member at Audi and Volvo).

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