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CES is now one of the world's biggest auto shows as Ford to Uber debut new technology

With its glossy black finish, five-person cabin and six huge fan pods, the Bell Nexus looks like it belongs on the set of a science fiction film, rather than the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. But it's just one of the many unusual displays at this year's Consumer Electronics Show focused on the world of transportation rather than the TVs, smartphones and digital appliances traditionally found at CES. Not everyone thinks the solution requires turning to drones like the Nexus, but the exhibits this year show the role that digital technology — everything from laser sensors to electric drive systems — will play in the not-too-distant future. "As space at the ground level becomes limited, we must solve transportation challenges in the vertical dimension — and that's where Bell's on-demand mobility vision takes hold," Bell CEO Mitch Snyder said in a statement announcing the Nexus, one of the craft that could give Uber wings. Whether the Nexus, never mind the Uber air service, will ever get off the ground is far from certain, but the aircraft is one of the biggest and most striking products at CES. We won't be abandoning four-wheeled vehicles anytime soon. But self-driving cars are clearly on the way, and there are a number of robotized vehicles on display at CES this year. Some, like the toaster-shaped concept vehicles that fill the Kia booth, look little like the cars of today.

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