Forget the self-driving car, meet the self-driving suitcase

may take a while to arrive, but the self-driving is here now.

Some of the used in have been adapted in products unveiled at the 2018 , to help travelers with the weighty problem of dealing with baggage.

The “robot suitcase” from California-based startup can be controlled with a and can roll alongside its owner at speeds up to 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) per hour, navigating around obstacles.

“This is really a robot which follows you around,” said Travelmate founder and president Maximillian Kovtun.

Travelmate designed the device — which integrates elements of — to roll at a pace that matches that of the user, or it can be directed with the smartphone app in the same manner as a drone.

Priced at around $1,100, it is slated to roll out in February for the US market, and late in Europe and Japan.

A competing offering from ForwardX, a Chinese startup with offices in California, is designed to be used with facial recognition, without need for a smartphone application.

“It uses computer vision and a driving algorithm to have a clear path,” said founder , who showed a prototype at CES.

The ForwardX suitcase also has gesture and can be immobilized to protect against theft.

Chee said he expects the launch in mid-2018 at a price under $1,000.

Both Travelmate and ForwardX say their devices comply with US because their lithium-ion batteries, banned in checked luggage, can be removed.

Also shown at CES was an auto-following suitcase from China-based 90FUN, which has been available in the Chinese market and is soon coming to America. It uses self-balancing technology from the personal transport maker Segway.

And finally for the weariest of travelers, a luggage product called the Modobag, which lacks artificial intelligence but offers a sizeable perk instead: as a ride-on suitcase which can carry its owner along with their clothes. (AFP) Photo by smoothgroover22

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