CES 2022: Exciting Innovations in Mobility

Vertical lift-off, the world's first electric snow-bike, revolutionary drone technology and more

With very few publications having editors attending in person, it was a Consumer Electronics Show unlike any other. This year, we attended the event and found that the convergence of mobility and technology continues to shape the future of travel—from your neighborhood to the skies. From drone innovations to exciting electric snow-bikes, research that rethinks the very nature of mobility itself and much more, there was plenty to discover. Below we outline some of the highlights within the mobility category, each of which reflects the developments and transformations pioneering the industry.

Courtesy of BMW

BMW iX Flow Concept

At a virtual CES press conference, BMW unveiled the color-changing iX Flow, a concept car clad in E Ink that allows the car’s exterior to instantly transform from white to black or vice versa. But these design-forward features are more than aesthetic—they’re also functional. The car’s darker colors absorb heat as light colors deflect it. This, paired with the car’s interior climate control, improves battery efficiency. Given the relatively simple technology in the iX Flow, one can’t help but imagine the more creative designs and functions that can arrive from this concept.

Courtesy of Moonbikes

Moonbikes

As the world’s first electric snow-bike (and one of the most fun-looking vehicles we’ve seen recently), Moonbikes provide a new way to explore the wintry outdoors—whether for recreation or transportation—with less environmental impact. Reaching a top speed of 25mph (42 km/h) and with a compact design, this electric bike features a track in the rear and a single ski up front, enabling powerful snow-carving in silence. Assembled by Bosch in the Swiss Alps, the bike can last up to an hour and a half (three hours with a second battery) on a single charge, resist temperatures down to -13ºF (-25ºC) and snow depths up to nearly a foot. Launch pricing is $8,500, with options for the second battery and a fast charger. Deposits for the first 100 are currently being taken.

Courtesy of Brekr

Brekr Model B

The Brekr Model B incorporates the history of motorized two-wheelers into a new, powerful design, marked by a bold and future-forward style. A strong, lightweight aluminum frame bolsters this design and enables easier maneuvering. The electric moped (not an e-bike or an electric motorcycle) is an exciting space we are eager to see develop. The Model B’s lightweight aluminum frame helps deliver performance and range, with speeds up to 28mph (45km/h). To match its daring aesthetic, the Model B houses two removable batteries to increase range. The first, single battery has a capacity of 2.0kWh, lasting 50 to 80 kilometers, while the second increases this range from 100 to 160. Pricing starts at €4,749.

by Evan Orensten

Alpinestars Tech-Air 3 Street Airbag System

Alpinestars—an industry leader in protective inflatable gear for motorcyclists and motorcycle racers—is releasing the Tech-Air 3, a more simple, slim, light (under four pounds) and less expensive vest worn over (or under) other clothing for urban bicyclists, scooter riders, skateboarders, One-Wheelers and more. Leveraging the brand’s decades of expertise in creating the world’s first self-contained street airbag system, it functions independently without the need for connected sensors, Bluetooth or a specific bike. Its six sensors track rider movements 1000 times a second. In the case of a fall, the Tech-Air 3 inflates around your chest and back in milliseconds, offering protection to riders. A clever closure indicates when the vest is activated, and a charge provides around 32 hours of use. It’s available in men’s and women’s styles for $600.

by Josh Rubin

Boring Company LVCC Loop

Located under the Las Vegas Convention Center, the LVCC Loop is a three-station transportation system consisting of 1.7 miles of tunnel—which the Boring Company built in about one year. It connects the convention center’s new West exhibit hall with the existing campus (the North, Central and South halls), reducing a lengthy cross-campus walk to an approximately two-minute ride. The service is currently provided by manually driven Teslas and is offered for free.

Courtesy of Spooky Action

Spooky Action Telelift Drone

While current Cellular On Wheels systems are bulky and difficult to employ, Spooky Action‘s Telelift provides 4G LTE network coverage indefinitely and quickly over an expansive area. As a drone-based flying cell tower powered by an innovative tether system, Telelift provides crucial help for first responders during crises in disaster-hit areas with a consistently powered system.

Vetal Survey Drone

HG Robotics‘ new large-scale survey done, Vetal, features an array of innovations that make it a useful tool in agricultural and data-related applications. Aside from its compelling industrial design, it’s built with military-grade technology, offers vertical take-off and landing, and can land on moving objects thanks to its custom built “target seeking” navigation. It’s also equipped with an advanced AI system for mission planning and data analysis to provide automated routine-mapping and 3D volume-calculation, as well as canopy area and fertilization calculations.

Courtesy of Nimble One

Nimble One Aru

Rethinking the nature of movement itself, Nimble One’s Aru is a polymorphic robot whose mobility isn’t limited to human or animal paradigms. As such, it can cruise and adapt its shape to the obstacles it faces, like stairs, doors and narrow passageways. Its innovative shape extends the physical capabilities of mobile robots, allowing it to perform tasks beyond human precision or perception. It is slated to be available in 2023.

Image courtesy of Moonbikes