Mitsubishi Motors, as an automaker, has been quiet and loud at the same time over the last two years. We heard the company was working on a new electric vehicle (EV), but we haven’t seen anything about it. The closest news is the Eclipse Cross PHEV to eventually replace the Outlander PHEV. Now that auto shows are starting up again, 2022 starts out with a bang with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Although the CES is mostly focused on consumer brands, many automakers show up as well, and now we know why Mitsubishi Motors has been so silent. Sister company Mitsubishi Electric has been pulling all the weight, and the future of Mitsubishi is all about “Life, Industry, Infrastructure, and Mobility”.
It seems the theme for automakers this year at 2022 CES is a huge hark back to the 2020 CES before the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down. We’re talking about a mobility ecosystem and smart cars from Mitsubishi and just about every other huge automaker or automotive group. A mobile ecosystem is a society where everyone everywhere can get transportation, whether it’s a personal vehicle, a bus or shuttle, and one day, flight. Smart cars are also quickly becoming the new thing, turning vehicles into giant smartphones on wheels.
For the 2022 CES, Mitsubishi Electric broke it down into four categories: Life, Industry, Infrastructure, and Mobility.
Although split into four categories, they all sort of mesh together. For instance, the exhibit on Life talks about a lot of infrastructure changes that will help improve life. This involves features on a personal level for more efficient water heating and air conditioning for personal comfort with a 3D i-See Sensor that maps the room and can create an atmosphere. A Deluxe Wall-Mounted Indoor Unit works in tandem with this system and uses a Hyper-Heating Inverter for also controlling areas for heat and warmth, able to change the temperature of a room depending on the amount of people in a room and other variables. A personal HealthCam that non-invasively monitors the vitals of people in a room was also introduced.
Many operations in public buildings were also shared, such as PureRide Touchless Control, where consumers can hail for a vehicle from within an elevator, assumingly in a hotel. In today’s world, COVID-19 is still around and keeping surfaces clean is a must. The work around for this is a Hygienic Touch Operable Aerial Display, or a holographic surface that reads the spatial relationship of the user and what’s being projected. Lastly, Smart Buildings and Smart Places like the SUSTIE building Mitsubishi Electric built, able to reduce energy costs to less-than-zero.
Industry and Infrastructure
In the Industry category, a lot of this has to do with robotics and artificial intelligence. For instance, eF@ctory, a concept of a completely digitized factory where employees work together with robots and artificial intelligence (AI) to produce higher quality products more efficiently. In addition, supervisors and management can control entire areas with holographic surfaces that oversee factory operations. Another example of robots helping aid commercial businesses, RoboTire is a system that can be implemented into auto services and dealerships, able to precisely and safely replace a tire in 15 minutes. Think about how long it took the last time you needed to replace a tire compared to that.
On a much larger scale, Automation Software Solutions can oversee performance and production of buildings like production plants, or on a more structural level, monitoring the infrastructure of the building, even underground. In many ways, robotics and automated services may become the norm. Whether it’s maintaining the power grid with Power-I and using energy more efficiently in entire cities with Smarter Grid Solutions, or small-time things like Seamless Security, able to scan multiple people at once, making things the hassle of airport security a little easier.
Mobility is all over the place, and some of it we’ve already known about, like electrification. Just about every automaker has a hand in making electrified models to fill up their new lineup, but Mitsubishi Electric is also working on new devices that will help bring society into a carbon-neutral world. As we mentioned above, many of the categories blend, and robotics and artificial intelligence also play a part in mobility. Aside from personal mobile devices, robotic companions are being built to offer services to those who may not have mobile options available.
Robots were shown picking up packages, loading trucks, performing shopping for consumers, all automatically. One example showed a mother ordering groceries while picking up a child from daycare. A motorized robot arrives at the daycare at the same time of pickup, with all of the groceries safely stored inside the unit. Another example shows how these same devices can work as guides for patients in hospital or mobile equipment that can move between rooms. Then there’s the simple stuff, like robots delivering food orders to people, whenever, wherever.
Lastly, drivers will find vehicles much more enjoyable with driver assistance software that makes interacting with one’s car much more organic, like talking to a Smart Speaker. Autonomous driving is also still growing, with Level 3 and Level 4 popping up in the commercial industry. Many high-tech features will be popping up in future Mitsubishi vehicles such as lighting and air conditioning systems based on the occupants in the cabin, vital systems sensors, the above mentioned ability to shop and have a robot deliver the items (from the car). Many automakers want to turn vehicles into mobile living spaces, and with the push of a button, some concepts show a vehicle that retracts the dashboard and steering wheel and pushes the seats back to open up the cabin and enjoy a mobile lounge.It’s all incredibly futuristic, but Mitsubishi Electric has always been very ambitious. We look forward to seeing which of these technologies make it into the real world in the next few years, or decade. What do you think? Join the discussion on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.
Photo Source/Copyright: Mitsubishi Electric