Autos overshadow small gadgets at CES tech show


LAS VEGAS (AP) — The smartphones and other small machines that used to dominate the annual CES gadget show have been overshadowed in recent years by bigger mobile devices: namely, automobiles.

Auto companies typically save more practical announcements about new cars, trucks and SUVs for the upcoming Detroit auto show.

But major automakers like Toyota, Kia, Hyundai and Ford have a noticeable presence at this week's tech showcase in Las Vegas. CES is a chance for carmakers and suppliers of automotive parts and software to display their wilder and far-out ideas.

Among the highlights today:

— Toyota says it's developing self-driving mini-buses that can serve as bite-sized stores. These vehicles will drive themselves to places where potential buyers can try on clothes or shoes or pick through flea market items. The project is still in the conceptual stage, with testing expected in the 2020s.

— Automotive supplier Bosch wants to help guide drivers to vacant parking spots in as many as 20 U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, Miami and Boston. The company says it will be working with automakers on the initiative but didn't say which ones. As cars drive by, they will automatically recognize and measure gaps between parked cars and transmit that data to a digital map.

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