Today is the day, the North American International Auto Show opens to the public. For the next week, you can see the latest in automotive innovation, concept cars, your dream car and maybe slide behind the wheel of one or two. I was invited to spend a few days this week at NAIAS with SheBuysCars to see the latest and greatest from auto makers. NAIAS is one one event where cars are treated like celebrities, with a parties with full music production, live entertainment and more for new product unveilings. This year, NAIAS is not only larger than ever with a technology section on the lower level, but also brings a new approach to how car makers are actually interacting with the car owner.
This year at NAIAS there are a lot of stand out vehicles, and one for everyone. If you’re bringing the kids to the show, be sure to stop by the Pixar booth to visit the updated Lightning McQueen for Cars 3. Then head to Kia to see the 2018 Kia Stinger that won the 2017 NAIAS Best in Show – and once you see it, you will know why!
As I walked around Cobo Hall, I was surrounded by some of the most beautiful and drool worthy vehicles on the market right now. And with them, a few new trends started to emerge – items that we’re going to see in our cars as we continue to go.
Self Driving Cars
There has been a lot of buzz about self driving, or automated vehicles. With cars that have smart lane detection that will never leave the lane even if you take your hands off, to ones that that will actually offer a full “auto” option that will drive you from point A to B. With the use of radar, GPS, Compass Vehicle Services and Lidar – cars are getting smarter and soon will make it easier for us to relax while they take us to our destinations. Using the car detection system, the cars will slow down, break and even stop before an accident happens. This will free the riders up to catch up on paperwork, phone calls, quality time with the kids or in some cars – enjoy a massage with massaging back seats (stop by the Lincoln display to experience this!)
More Focus on the User Experience
As long as there have been cars, there has been one way you buy a car – paperwork, keys and walk out the door. But now, car manufacturers want an ongoing relationship with their customers. Brands are working with customers with exceptional service options like free valet, free service, free app connection with your vehicle. The highlight in this arena is Genesis, a new luxury brand who want you to enjoy your ride. Read More about the Genesis G90
The user experience isn’t just for the luxury vehicles, you’ll find massaging seats, easier to connect to infotainment systems, comfort and more. Be sure to look slide into a few cars and see what’s changed since the last time you’ve got a new car.
For an extreme – check out the concept Navigator at Lincoln’s booth – with a “private jet” feel with stairs that drop down, plane like seats and a full wardrobe in the back of the vehicle.
My first car had hand cranked windows, and a heating and cooling system that always blew no matter what setting you had it on. Cars have come a long way from then and now inside they’re packed with more than back up cameras and heated seats (although we love those too). Now you can pair your device seamlessly, stream while in you ride, have cars that detect other vehicles, 3D navigation menus and much much more. We’re only scraping the surface of where technology is in vehicles right now, and in a few year’s well see a big surge in where it’s going.
Stop by Ford’s book and a few others to try a virtual reality version of where they think cars are going.
The auto industry is going green in not just electric vehicles but also the materials they use. The Hyundai Ioniq gets over 54 mph in the hybrid model and offers all of the technology and comfort you’d expect in a mid-sized sedan.
When it comes to building cars, there are a lot of approaches and one of the most traditional is still steel. Offering not only safer and easier to repair vehicles, steel is still one of the most eco-friendly options in the industry. Boasting up to 6 times stronger than other materials, steel is still one of the greenest options on the market for cars.
Be sure to look for the Rinspeed Oasis – who takes green to another level with a garden in the front of the car!
Safety is one of the biggest things that families look for when they’re purchasing a new car. It’s beyond just airbags now- although that technology continues to grow as we go as well. But safety is considered in the very beginning of the design of the car, through the technology that is put into the car. From stronger steel bodies used to protect your family from different situations, better navigation features, lane detection, auto breaking and more.
Safety is a priority for all of us, be sure to stop in at your favorite brand and ask what they’re doing to keep our families safe on the road.
NAIAS opens to the public today at Cobo Hall.
Dates and Times
8 a.m. daily – Early access for handicapped individuals
Enter at the Hall C Entrance only
Saturday, January 14 – Saturday, January 21, 2017
9 a.m. – 10 p.m. (no admittance after 9 p.m.)
Sunday, January 22, 2017
9 a.m. – 7 p.m. (no admittance after 6 p.m.)