From Tokyo to Detroit

To stay on top of what the automotive industry has to offer, Covestro recently attended the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the Tokyo Motor Show.

There was a lot of action happening at the recent NAIAS in Detroit as 55 new vehicles were introduced including nine concept cars and Covestro was there to see them all. Automakers were boldly pushing the design envelope: the Acura Precision Concept featured a B-pillar-less entry and the Nissan Titan Warrior Concept featured a matte paint finish – as did other vehicles.  We also noticed high-gloss finishes, sharper lines instead of rounded edges and headlamps and grilles making a bigger, brighter statement style-wise. The use of carbon fiber in roofs, body panels and in-styling was also apparent.

On the interior side, we saw a large variety of textures and finishes. From high-to-low gloss and hard-to-soft textures, these cars had it all. With the proliferation of more advanced user interfaces, metallic aesthetics are being used to integrate them into the car. LEDs are packing cars inside and out for safety and style in a variety of ways. We saw matrix LED headlamps, ambient LED interior lighting and even LEDs on the roof of cars.

The auto world has also had a growing presence at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in recent years, but with nine automakers and over 100+ automotive technology companies exhibiting, CES 2016 marked its largest presence yet. Covestro was at the Las Vegas show in early January where connected, autonomous and electric vehicles stole the show.

The connected car is more than just smartphone integration – it’s connecting to smart home products that enable garage doors to open when you’re close to home and warning other cars if you encounter black ice. Most automakers have self-driving cars in the works and we saw a fleet of autonomous announcements at CES: General Motors made a $500 million investment in ride-sharing service Lyft to build a fleet of self-driving cars; Ford is tripling its fleet of self-driving test vehicles to 30 by the end of 2016; and Mercedes-Benz received a license in Nevada to test the new E-Class standard-production cars in autonomous mode. Both Chevrolet and Volkswagen hope to make a big splash in the electric vehicle market and showcased new offerings including Chevrolet’s Bolt electric car and VW’s BUDD-e electric van.

Covestro was also at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show last fall where we saw imaginative and futuristic concept cars from automakers. Toyota, Honda and Mitsubishi unveiled unique concepts that caught our eye. The Toyota FCV Plus is a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle with expansive glass and LED lighting throughout including the wheels. The autonomous Honda Wander Stand is intended for two passengers in urban settings that can also move laterally and diagonally. Mitsubishi’s eX concept is an EV crossover with a B-pillar-less entry and augmented reality windshield.
Covestro’s materials support many of the trends we saw and as a result our material technologies are featured in many vehicles. We’ll continue to develop material products and applications that help pave the way for tomorrow’s vehicles.

For more information, email us: plastics@covestro.com.

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