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CES 2019, back from Sodom Electronics Show

I was born the same week as CES*. Yet the two of us had never met.

I am all in all a healthy person with no secret vice, and no need for disinhibiting stimuli. Las Vegas is the last place on earth I wished to travel to.

This time, I could not procrastinate and just had too many startups and companies to see. So I finally booked my ticket to visit my buddies in Sodom Electronics Show.

Putting aside my reluctance, and looking beyond the usual bunch of innovative electronic gadgets, self-driving UFOs, and jaw-dropping scrolling TV screens, I went on to see what are the real trends at CES.

CES: It is the Automotive, stupid!

What I saw and heard from the professionals is that CES became the number 1 Auto Show in the world. Not Mondial de l’Auto in Paris, not IAA in Frankfurt, not even the NAIAS in Detroit. Just the CES in Vegas.

The one place where the automotive industry, TIER1s and OEMs alike, showcases its most impressive and innovative demo-cars.

It’s no secret that Israel is at the forefront of the mobility revolution, therefore a remarkable number of Israeli auto-tech startups attended the show, holding endless high level meetings with industry leaders to strike new partnerships. Which I tried to help with.

Among those industry leaders, Valeo, the French global automotive Tier-1 supplier, shared some significant news related to the Israeli ecosystem.

On one side of the booth, the Smart Cocoon assembled by Valeo Thermal Systems, integrated Neteera, the Israeli developer of a sub-THz-based contactless sensor capable of sensing and monitoring the vital signs of the car occupants.

Neteera’s sensor is a key pillar in Valeo’s Smart Cocoon demo vehicle

A few meters away, Valeo showcased its new telematics platform integrating the V2X chipset from the Israeli Autotalks. The live demonstration showed the telematics platform capable of switching between DSRC and C-V2X and ready for global deployments. With this collaboration, Valeo aims at offering to car manufacturers a worldwide solution based on a single hardware platform and a single V2X software stack that can be configured on both wireless communication technologies, and switch from one to the other.

Probably the most breaking news announcement was the strengthened partnership between Valeo and Mobileye. Beyond the 2015’s technological alliance, the two companies have recently signed a partnership agreement for the development and promotion of a new safety standard for autonomous vehicles based on the "Responsibility-Sensitive Safety" (RSS) model, a mathematical modelling of safety developed by Mobileye, aimed at widespread adoption by the industry. The partnership will include drafting of frameworks for the verification and commercial deployment of safe AVs, funding of public research on the RSS model, contributing to draft standards and participation in key committees and working groups in designated standards organizations.

Jacques Aschenbroich and Amnon Shahua, CEOs of Valeo and Mobileye, were awarded the ‘’Future Industry Trophy’’ by the Chamber of Commerce France-Israel, last December in Paris

And what about Energy?

The new Mobility developments had and will continue to have a great impact on the Energy sector, with the democratization of electric powertrains, the management of electric car charging, through the advent of smart grids, introducing car batteries in the decentralized infrastructure, using their storage capacity. Quite interestingly though, the French-based ENGIE was the only global utility player exhibiting at CES, and for the 4th year in a row.

Beyond Mobility, ENGIE innovates and invests in Blockchain for backing energy trading operations with small producers through Blockchain Studio, in a successful smart city monitoring platform with Livin, and AI-powered smart home with the launch of eCare.

ENGIE, the French multinational energy utility company, had an impressive booth at the CES for the 4th year in a row.

The ''Green Camel'' of HomeBioGas - Engie’s latest Israeli investment – could not remain unnoticed. The domestic biogas digester that turns organic waste into cooking fuel and liquid fertilizer, received an impressive media attention, such as Les Echos, La Tribune.

HomeBioGas demo booth at the CES

Fortuitously, ENGIE’s booth was facing the stunning Israeli Pavilion which included over 20 Israeli exhibiting companies.

Among them worth noting was the startup Waycare offering an AI-driven mobility solution looking at optimizing city traffic management. After having exhibited in 2018, Waycare was adopted by the local Vegas authorities and is currently piloting its solution with Nevada Highway Patrol in Las Vegas, aimed at optimizing traffic management systems and emergency response, which could be visualized in real time on the booth. At the time I visited them, they were dealing with a real accident, helping to coordinate response, and avoiding additional jams.

Gadi Ariely, Director of the Israel Export Institute welcomed at ENGIE booth by Hendrik Van Asbroeck, Managing Director of Engie Fab et Engie New Ventures

Welcome to the French Tech Jemaa El Fnaa!

The French made it again at CES, with nearly 10% of total exhibiting companies - 3rd country with the strongest representation after the US and China.

A whopping 376 of them were concentrated by Business France at Eureka park, all using their tricks and gimmicks to draw your attention and ''stand out'', reminding of the Jemaa El Fnaa Marrakesh central square.

Helite managed to demonstrate loudly enough its airbag for bike riders. It should protect your back and torso, leaving you to watch after your head and legs…

Helite Airbag demonstration

To end on a green note…

"To combat climate change, the tech industry must incentivize innovation and champion technology-based solutions," had said in 2018 Gary Shapiro, President, CEO and Chief Organizer of the CES.

It was about time to recognize the environmental impact of electronics devices usage, big data and cloud revolutions who all contributed to the explosion of global energy consumption.

Proudly, NanoScent was among the 7 startups to win the 2019 CES Climate change award since its real-time detector senses, monitors, alerts, and traces specific VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) in the air. Nanoscent, aims at breaking the scent recognition frontier. This sensorial breakthrough will most likely have a wide impact across a variety of industries in the future - starting now with the prevention of potentially harmful leaks at industrial plants with a focus on Oil & Gas.

Coming back from CES, I am double-checking myself. Was it worth the effort?

The time spent? The emissions I emitted? Reflecting on my first CES: 200 000 people, 4400 exhibitors ... this should be worth my flight carbon impact.

* I let you wiki-search the exact date.

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