The drive for innovation often hits speed bumps

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Transportation technology appeared tangible at CES. But the plodding nature of development means it might still be a decade away, or longer.

LAS VEGAS — Technology that could fundamentally reshape transportation was easy to find last week at CES.

It's an age-old problem scrutinized with renewed vigor during CES. Pressing concerns over greenhouse gas emissions, energy security and geopolitical stability, and economic uncertainty have automakers seeking technology that can deliver both breakthroughs and cost reductions. Automakers and others have committed those resources, investing more than US$530 billion across autonomous, connected, electrified and shared mobility technology since 2010, according to McKinsey's figures.

Broadly, China leads in deployment of connected-car technology, Kampshoff said. Both China and Europe have established leadership positions on ushering in EV technology, while the U.S."is still solving the chicken-and-egg problem of consumers wanting more charging infrastructure," he said. "The nature of innovation and progress in this field is that proving things out and scaling them up is challenging and usually takes a decade or so," he said.Federal legislation has provided a lift for a fledgling EV era. But it has not done the same for autonomous vehicles. The lack of legislative attention, some say, has stymied the widespread adoption of self-driving technology.

During the past decade, he said, the Obama, Trump and Biden administrations have provided support for general technology advancements and, more specifically, artificial intelligence. But now,"the Biden administration does not seem to have an appetite for self-driving."They felt the brunt of industry headwinds in 2022, none more than Argo AI, which shuttered in October.

 

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