Fiat Chrysler will show off a long-range electric minivan during its very first press conference at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.
Car tech is becoming a bigger part of CES each year, which opens to the public January 5 at Las Vegas. Bloomberg reports that vehicle technology will take up four football fields worth of space this year, a 21% increase from the year prior. FCA is now looking to get a piece of the action by holding a press conference at the massive electronics trade show for the very first time.
As part of that press conference, the automaker will show off its Portal concept. The unveiling will take place at 1 p.m PT/ 4 p.m. ET, but FCA released some teaser images in advance.
The concept minivan comes with a 100 kWh battery pack that provides over 250 miles of range, Electrek reported. With an ultra fast DC charger, the vehicle can recharge to 150 miles in just 20 minutes.
The minivan will come with self-driving tech like cameras, radar, lidar, and ultrasonic sensors, allowing for Level 3 autonomy, CNET reported.
Per SAE International, a US organisation that sets standards for automobiles, cars that fall under Level 3 are capable of steering, accelerating, and braking autonomously, as well as monitoring their environment. The cars could feasibly handle other autonomous tasks as well, but technically the driver is responsible for monitoring anything else.
Uber’s self-driving vehicles undergoing pilot tests in Pittsburgh and Arizona could be understood as Level 3 autonomous cars, while Tesla Autopilot tends to be seen as a Level 2 system. All of this means that FCA is showing a concept vehicle that could compete with other autonomous vehicles being tested on the road today.
FCA’s interest in autonomous technology is nothing new, as the automaker has partnered with Google’s self-driving company, Waymo. FCA has supplied 100 new Pacifica minivans integrated with self-driving tech as part of that partnership.
The Information reported in December that FCA and Waymo will use self-driving vehicles in a taxi setting by the end of 2017, but Waymo has yet to confirm that report.
FCA’s concept vehicle also features sliding doors:
The concept minivan also comes with a massive OLED display with voice control capabilities, according to the CNET report:
FCA will also show off its new car connectivity system, UConnect, during its press conference. FCA said the fourth-generation of UConnect will integrate Android’s operating system.
You can livestream the press conference here and check back with us for more information.