What Did CES 2020 Have To Do With Travel?
Note: I will be adding more items so please check back often.
I was able to attend CES 2020 in Las Vegas during the week of July 5 to 10. It was an amazing time and I was thrilled to check out some of the items that are travel-related. Although when you think CES, you think technology and not travel. But the last two years there’s been more and more travel items present. Let’s take a look at what I experienced.
Also, check out my Instagram account at htps://www.instagram.com/loyaltytravels for updates.
Delta Air Lines CEO Delivers The Keynote Address
I was luck to get a seat in order to listen to the CEO of Delta Air Lines. Delta is definitely a leader when it comes to using technology in travel. Even though, United has the best App in the entire airline industry :-). Delta is actually the first airline I ever worked for, with a Masters Degree in hand, they wouldn’t hire me permanently as the economy was terrible at the time, so I left for a permanent job at ATA in Indianapolis. It was strange as the guys on the ramp with whom I worked wouldn’t talk to me as they thought I was a spy from Corporate; far from the truth. One never knows how your airline career would go, when you start.
Ed Bastian, the Delta CEO delivered is about hour-long keynote to a full house. He and his team was thoughtful enough to give everyone a blanket made from recycled plastics. And two people won Delta One tickets to anywhere Delta flies.
The coolest thing, he mentioned was a system they are testing that will allow you to see your flight information at the airport when you look at the departure board. I was able to test this and I’m very impressed. It actually follows you around the airport. It still needs work, but it has real potential. It will be deployed first in Detroit, MI (DTW) later this year.
If you love Wifi, you’ll be excited to know that Bastian is working on getting you Wifi for free on your flights. Note that some airlines already have some semblance of free wifi.
Partnership with Lyft
Delta also announced, although it was already existent, that they have a partnership with Lyft. You will continue to get miles with each dollar you spend on your Lyft ride. You can find more details at https://www.deltalyft.com/. What they announced is that Lyft will be giving you flight information while in the car as well as modifying your pickup times based on your flight’s status.
Here is his speech, so you can listen for yourself.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Addresses CES
Elaine Chaio gave an address and talked about autonomy and what the DOT is doing.
Uber Joins Forces With Hyundai
I sat in on a press conference where Hyundai announced a partnership with Uber. But not for a car, as Hyundai is a car manufacturer, but for an airplane. Hyundai is developing a flying machine to take 4/5 passengers high above the ground in an effort to ease ground congestion.
The unite will be able to carry cargo as well as humans from hubs around the city. I was able to take a virtual ride in it around the Oakland/San Francisco area. Totally enjoyable.
Last year though, Uber had partnered with Bell Helicopters, but they are no longer a partner.
Bell Helicopter Continues Development Of Air Taxi
Meanwhile, Bell Helicopters, is progressing with their own autonomous vehicle (EVTOL -Electric Vertical Takeoff And landing). This is actually the second iteration. Last year at CES 2019, the helicopter was a hybrid with six power plants. This year, it’s a completely electric version with only 4 rotors.
I had a good talk with the chief engineer Mike and he says they’ve done a lot of research and four rotors is the way to go and will still deliver enough power just as the six on the original design.
Don’t look for this anytime soon though, Perhaps in 2025 or so.
Autonomous vehicles were all over CES. Some were real while others are figment of our imaginations. I was even able to be driven by an autonomous car. I was the only person in the car and I sat in the back seat. It was a BMW i3; Urban Suite they call it.
The idea is that once autonomous cars become common place, we will need to be comfortable in the cars. I was indeed very comfortable.
Autonomy is not only in cars, it is also in trucks. You may have seen these trucks and not know it. As there’s been many tests and also in Colorado, it’s a daily occurrence in certain parts of the state.
There’s also autonomy in Shared rides. If you hail a Lyft in Las Vegas, you may get an autonomous vehicle. There is a human “driver,” but they are not driving.
Oh, and BMW has a X7 with what they are calling the zero gravity seat. This is a seat that is designed to make you super comfortable as you navigate, well your car autonomously navigate the city. I was also able to take a ride in this vehicle and equally enjoyed it.
It’s great that there are great advances in this arena. What are your thoughts about autonomous vehicles?
Wellness Is A Big Part Of Travel
Everywhere I went there was someone talking about some form of wellness. From devices to track your sleep to track your runs, walks, etc. Even a haute couture bed that has Alexa installed in it.
What do you think of these advancements?