View of future automobile tech: Detroit Auto Show

While there was much tech on display at CES a couple of weeks ago, the equivalent in the automobile world is Detroit’s North American International Auto Show. Full of the latest in automobile tech, it’s the place–like CES–to see what the latest offerings are in the field.

While there was some auto tech at CES, the place to go to get a better look is here. has nine stories on the events and products that were present. While you can click on this link to read all nine, here’s a few highlights.

Volvo watches the road with cameras and lasers :

Volvo’s booth at the North American International Auto Show features a café serving coffee, tea, and ginger cookies. For a few minutes, I can kind of pretend I’m Swedish. And then I can check out some of Volvo’s latest safety features, which use a camera and laser built into the windshield, and a radar built into the front grille, to help avoid accidents.

New Mercedes tech gives drivers an assist :

Mercedes calls the new package “Intelligent Drive,” and it boasts systems aimed at preventing collisions with cars, pedestrians, and oncoming traffic. Other features include Steering Assist, Brake Assist, and Attention Assist. It’s the successor to Mercedes’s Pre-Safe and Distrionic Plus safety assistance systems; Intelligent Drive works with these existing systems to bring even more safety features to Mercedes’s E-Class cars.

High-tech concept cars :

The North American International Auto Show is rife with futuristic-looking vehicles. Unfortunately, most of these vehicles are concept vehicles, so they’re destined for an entire existence behind glass, sectioned off by ropes, or spinning around on moving platforms.

In other words, these cars aren’t in production, and it’s entirely possible that they never will be. They’re automakers’ wildest dreams come to life, and while they’re not necessarily all that practical or marketable, they sure are a lot of fun to look at.

Cars with cameras, projectors and 3-D safety tech :

“Seeing and being seen” took on a whole new meaning at the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). I spied production and concept cars with serious imaging technology, and they spied me right back.

Cars with embedded cameras and displays are nothing new. Rear-view backup cameras have been around for a while, and several cars have some sort of display nestled into the dash. However, the next generation of imaging devices in cars will take on far more complex and active roles in the driving experience.

Much as with products found at CES, science fiction plays a large role in the design and engineering of the future automobile and its features. People see the things cars do in movies like the James Bond series, Blade Runner or the much more fantastic Minority Report, for example, and they seek similar features or effects in their own rides.


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