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Autonomous Vehicles Startups

At CES, Autonomous Vehicle Firms Play Down Expectations

The curtain has been raised on the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas but the giant convention is still coming together Workers are putting the finishing touches on pavilions from Google and showrooms from Samsung. A few speakers from government agencies have canceled appearances due to the shutdown. And some of the biggest buzz in the show so far came from Apple’s billboard across the street touting the company’s privacy functions. 

There are signs that auto companies are trying harder than in past years to keep expectations in check about autonomous vehicles. Nvidia’s big Sunday night announcement was about gaming chips, not self-driving cars.

Aptiv, which operates a few dozen self-driving vehicles for Lyft passengers in Las Vegas, is doing demos at CES. The company says it has made improvements over the past year in its technology. But Aptiv didn’t want to all the focus to be on its autonomous fleet. Its pavilion includes displays about its advanced driver-assistance systems in regular cars today, designed to alert people when they are distracted or leave their kids behind. “That’s a real problem,” said Jada Smith, an Aptiv vice president. “We aren’t one-dimensional.”

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