Each year, the tech industry Super Bowl that is the Consumer Electronic Show takes over Las Vegas in a display of enough futuristic innovation, gadgetry and wizardry to blow the circuits and make a believer of even the most resolute luddite.
The name “Consumer Electronics Show” feels a little outdated, hinting at the Betamax player that was never hooked up. In reality, the convention feels more and more like it is sponsored by lightworkers from another dimension. Certainly, the ideas that will drive consumer change in the technology sphere are debuted here, and on this show floor what was once a dream begins to become reality.
More than 4,400 companies exhibit on the show floor, walked by over 182,000 attendees from 160 countries. From a glass toaster and “egg whisperer” that tells you which eggs are oldest, to digital sleep aids that retrain your brain, and of course to TV’s the size of your garage door, CES delivers astounding gizmos of every size.
For Toyota, the mission as CES is a little more serious: Innovations in autonomous driving, alternative fuel cell technologies, plus the range of mobility solutions currently in development give Toyota a strong slate of news on the floor.
It’s our chance to offer a glimpse of the technologies that will change society and define the future – and here at Toyota, we like to stay on the cutting edge of this revolution.
But it’s not just about the stuff, cool as it is. As Toyota’s Executive Vice President of sales, Bob Carter, said on stage at CES, “even though new technology is important, what matters is how it serves society. And that’s why our global president Akio Toyoda wants our company to transition from an automobile company to a mobility company, pursuing mobility for all.”
So today, we’re not just looking at cars – we’re looking at the future of mobility, which in some cases, is actually already here. That’s why we started something called Toyota AI Ventures, which is Toyota's first dedicated venture capital fund. It’s a $100M fund that was founded in July 2017, and it's focused on investing in early-stage companies that are focusing on artificial intelligence, data, and the cloud, as applied to autonomous mobility and robotics. So, we look for entrepreneurs that are bringing disruptive business models and innovative technologies to the marketplace, and give them the resources they need to bring forth the future of mobility.
Today’s guests are part of Toyota AI Ventures and join us from the show floor to offer a glimpse of this future: Toyota AI Ventures CEO Jim Adler, Intuition Robotics CEO and co-founder Dor Skuler, and May Mobility CEO and co-founder Ed Olson.
We’re also joined by special guest and co-host Austin Evans, a tech influencer who’s been at this longer than the idea of being a tech influencer or YouTuber have existed. Austin posted his first tech video in 2007 and now has over 3.6 million subscribers on YouTube. To kick off our CES special, let’s sit down with Austin to learn more about what his world is like and the trends he’s seen at CES over the past 9 years.
So settle in for a trip to CES 2019 – the closest thing on Earth to a rocket to Pluto.
Toyota AI Ventures: https://toyota-ai.ventures/ Intuition Robotics: https://www.intuitionrobotics.com/ May Mobility: https://maymobility.com/