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CES 2020 to highlight innovation in transportation sector

Updated January 2, 2020 - 6:46 pm

The state of innovation in transportation will be addressed at CES 2020 next week by the top transportation officials in the nation.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who spoke at the event in 2018 but skipped her planned 2019 visit because of a government shutdown, returns to CES to discuss innovation in the transportation realm and recent federal transportation initiatives.

“As the highest-ranking U.S. transportation official, Secretary Chao is driving the administration’s initiatives to safely advance the transportation industry through tech innovation,” Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, said in a statement.

“We welcome Secretary Chao back to the CES keynote stage and look forward to hearing the DOT’s latest initiatives that will provide a road map for the industry — in the U.S. and abroad — and help to further improve public safety.”

Chao will deliver her keynote at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in room N257 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

All things transportation are a large focus of CES, with over 160 vehicle tech exhibits planned, including 10 major automakers, with showcases including drones, autonomous vehicles and smart cities.

Running Tuesday through Friday, CES is the largest annual convention in Las Vegas with more than 175,000 attendees expected. More than 4,400 exhibiting companies will spread out across 11 venues with a combined 2.9 million square feet of meeting space.

Joining Chao at CES is Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian, who will give the opening keynote of CES 2020, marking the first time in CES history that an airline executive will do so. Bastian will deliver the opening keynote address at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Palazzo Ballroom in The Venetian.

Bastian and Delta will showcase consumer innovations affecting the future of air travel, aimed at reducing stress while increasing convenience, comfort and enjoyment.

“Travel has become an essential part of our lives, and CES is the perfect stage to show the world how technology and innovation — combined with the best employees on the planet — will transform the future travel experience for customers across all points of the journey,” Bastian said in a statement.

Delta also will have an experiential showroom where it will showcase the transformation of the air travel experience.

“Biometrics, AR/VR, mobile technology and more are simplifying travel today and fundamentally changing travel in the future,” Shapiro said. “This is a growing, trillion-dollar industry supporting millions of jobs across the world. Attendees will be able to see and experience for the first time the promise technology holds for the travel and tourism industry and we look forward to hearing from Delta who is leading the way.”

Fisker Ocean debut

Also at CES, American automaker Fisker will unveil its $40,000 electric Ocean SUV, CEO Henrik Fisker announced in a news release.

“The world will get to see the fully-engineered vehicle, which rides on a production-ready platform — signaling our intent to get it to market efficiently,” Fisker said in a statement. “Fisker Ocean will serve as a model for how desirable EVs can replace gasoline vehicles as practical daily drivers.”

The Ocean features all-wheel-drive and a vegan interior made with recycled materials, according to the company’s website, where you can reserve an SUV with a $250 down payment.

The website also promotes optional solar roof panels, which it says could create 1,000 free miles per year.

The vehicle will house a lithium-ion battery pack with a range of up to 300 miles. A range of 200 miles can be delivered from a 30-minute charge for the Ocean model, the news release said.

Fisker also announced a partnership with Electrify America with the goal to open up access to 3,500 DC chargers across 45 states by 2021.

Transportation talks

Several panel discussions at CES will focus on transportation issues:

— Autonomous public transportation: Thursday, 9 a.m-10 a.m, featuring Ryan Kelly of Virgin Hyperloop One.

— The sharing economy takes over the road: Thursday, 2:15 p.m.-3:15 p.m. at Las Vegas Convention Center N262. The panel features Eric Allison, head of Uber Elevate, Seleta Reynolds, general manager for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and others.

Also, on Monday, the GO NV Summit will take place at the Thomas &Mack Center’s Strip View pavilion featuring executives and officials from transportation companies and entities including Uber, Virgin HyperLoop One, Virgin Trains and Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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