COVESA: Connecting @ CES 2022

My tenure as the Community Director for COVESA began on January 1 – and three days later I found myself in Las Vegas for CES 2022. With organizations from around the world opting out of physically attending this massive annual event due to the pandemic – combined with Automotive Tech: Megatrends being cancelled – I was unsure what all to expect this year. However, I was pleasantly surprised and plenty productive.

My first step was to sit down with COVESA colleagues Steve Crumb, Executive Director and Matt Jones, CEO and President, to swap thoughts around our direction moving forward. We walked through current projects and brainstormed on connected vehicle domains for future projects: electrification, autonomous, smart home, smart city, and insurance. It is quite clear that in order to achieve success in most, if not all of these domains, open collaboration between OEMs, tier 1s, public sector, content providers is imperative. Ecosystems are required for these areas to thrive and function and once vehicles are connected, sharing resources and open collaboration is a firm requirement.  

As for the show floor – I really took it all in. And I was struck by the number of electric and autonomous vehicle exhibits from established players and upstarts large and small from all corners of the planet. There were also many electrification and autonomous infrastructure support companies chasing big opportunities. It’s an exciting time!

Additionally, I learned about many industry opportunities by attending the Connect2Car panel “Standardized Data, Common Architecture and Vehicle Services” featuring:

  • Moderator: Brian Carlson– Director, Global Product & Solutions Mkt, NXP Semiconductors
  • Speaker: Brandy Goolsby– Director, Product and Solutions Marketing, Wind River
  • Speaker: Matt Jones– Chairman and President of COVESA and Director of Global Technology Strategy, Ford Motor Co.
  • Speaker: Madison White– Senior Manager, Market and Solutions Strategy - Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, Ricardo

This panel hammered home the need for collaboration to standardize and build the foundations to enable the “value for the entire connected ecosystem.”  

That evening, I attended the COVESA CES Networking Event and Showcase, and given the small numbers in attendance overall on the Las Vegas Convention Center show floor, I was expecting sparse attendance by visitors and those showcasing. Wow, was I wrong – attendance was strong for both activities. We had 1,100+ pre-register with more than 500 attendees – making this perhaps the best networking experience in automotive worldwide since CES 2020.

The event was held in a large ballroom at the Bellagio Hotel providing ample room for social distancing with the ability to move about freely. There were 49 showcases featuring wares from startups to established companies, and each was enthusiastic to share their newest products, solutions and technologies ranging from electrification, power management and smart home to smart city and autonomous and vehicle data exchange. Steve Crumb gave a short welcome followed by a video message delivered by Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II from the state of Michigan who focused on the future of mobility and electrification. The networking vibe was strong, a large number of attendees stayed at the COVESA event until the end, and many commented it was the highlight of CES for them. Photos of the reception are here.

The overall message I carried home from CES, is in order for the connected vehicle to achieve its full potential, it’s imperative to facilitate collaboration between ecosystem partners. This requires the development of open standards to create a path for innovation, and a plug-and-play approach for a diverse, sustainable and integrated mobility ecosystem. This necessary fusion of technologies and participation from adjacent industries requires an open door to attract collaboration. COVESA is a vibrant ecosystem that brings buyers and sellers together to solve industry challenges. Let’s continue to build on our successes, work alongside each other, and bring about industry transformation.

If you’re already taking part in COVESA, thank you! We have a lot in motion, with more planned for 2022 – stay engaged and accelerate your involvement.  Members drive direction and collaboration. If you aren’t yet a member, note COVESA  projects include: In-Vehicle Payment/EV Charging, Automotive Cybersecurity, Connected Vehicle Interface Initiative and Vehicle Signal Specification. We are actively seeking participation and input from stakeholders and the community, and would love to have you setting direction with us. Ready to decide the future of connected vehicles?