The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas used to be all about robots, drones, new smartphones and other, well, consumer electronics. Nowadays though, CES is increasingly being used as a global showcase for vehicle manufacturers to give the world a glimpse of the latest technological advances they're working on. And this year, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mercedes are all looking to make a big impression at the Las Vegas tech-fest.

Of course, plenty of other auto companies will be there, but the likes of Ford are being considerably more tight-lipped about what they are bringing to the show than Mercedes and the three Japanese auto giants.

Honda's offering at CES appears to be more about robotics than vehicles this year, although one of its robot exhibits is a driverless off-road vehicle concept the company says is designed to "support people in a broad range of work activities." All the Honda robots are part of its 3E Concept, which is shorthand for "empower, experience, empathy."

The focus of the Mercedes-Benz presence at the show will be the debut of a new infotainment system for its smaller vehicles. Called the Mercedes-Benz User Experience, or MBUX, the new system incorporates artificial intelligence and is set to begin appearing in vehicles in showrooms as early as this year. The German luxury manufacturer will also be bringing along a number of exciting concept cars too, including the Concept EQA electric hatchback, the Smart Vision EQ ForTwo city car concept, and the eagerly-anticipated Project One electric hypercar.

Toyota is also going to be giving a debut to a new infotainment system called Automotive Grade Linux, which will be an open-source project by The Linux Foundation, the official authority of one of the foundational programming languages of modern computing.

Nissan is going to be clarifying its mobility technology plans by taking its IMx crossover to the US for the first time, which is a self-driving concept with a battery offering a range of at least 373 miles. The new 2018 second-generation Leaf EV will be on display at CES between January 9 and 12 and will illustrate the latest incarnation of the company's electrification program.