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Automakers opting out of in-person CES as Omicron cases surge

Major automakers like BMW, Mercedes joined the list of companies that won’t be joining `CES 2022` in-person Las Vegas. However, Consumer Technology Association(CTA) plans to continue the show with many major tech companies. Mercedes and BMW announced, saying that considering the safety and health of employees, and as Omicron COVID-19 variant cases surge in the country they won’t be attending the in-person event.

Mercedes, BMW, more join list of companies opting-out of an in-person CES

Image credits- TechCrunch

Mercedes said in a statement, “As the health and safety of our customers, partners, employees, and guests are our highest priority. Due to the large group of participants and the different country-specific regulations, solid, safe and harmless planning for all participants is unfortunately not be feasible in the current situation. We deeply regret this decision but consider it necessary.”

Additionally, BMW announced its decision to attend the virtual press conference.  “For many years, the BMW Group has been presenting innovations at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Due to the pandemic situation, the BMW Group will move all planned media activities at CES to a fully digital program live-streamed from Germany.”

Other companies that opted for virtual conference

Other companies which opted for the virtual conference include Lidar company Velodyne and IBM. Lidar company Velodyne stated, “Velodyne Lidar will not participate in person at CES 2022 due to the surge in COVID-19 infection rates. The health and safety of employees, partners, and the public are the topmost priorities for Velodyne and were the primary factors in the company’s decision.”

However, around 2200 companies have already confirmed with CES about their participation in the in-person conference. However, some of them changed their decision to come to the event.

The event is going to be huge, all about the tech that is currently being on the verge of breakthroughs, including NFTs, remote health solutions, and self-driving cars. It was unexpected that some of the major tech companies will not be part of the in-person event. Panasonic North America CEO Megan Myungwon Lee stated, “The health and safety of our employees, partners, and customers remain our top priority. With this commitment in mind, we have updated our hybrid CES activation plans maintaining a modified physical footprint, with limited on-site staff, following CTA`s health safety protocols as well as our own proactive measures to ensure the health and well-being of attendees.”

The organization announced on December 22nd that strong safety measures will be taken. And that their “mission remains to convene the industry and give those who cannot attend in person the ability to experience the magic of CES digitally.”

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