One of the perks of my job as editor of X-OLOGY Magazine is having the opportunity to attend Press Preview days at the North American International Auto Show. And, while I may not be the biggest car fan in the world, I really enjoy seeing those beautiful, gleaming machines unveiled by many of the auto industry’s top guns.
This week, as I walked the floors of Cobo, it struck me that thousands of people have traveled across the country — even across the world — for this experience, while I simply jumped on the Lodge (M-10) and drove south for 25 minutes. My only challenge was maneuvering through the crowds with a broken toe – something I found surprisingly manageable.
Precisely scheduled presentations by auto execs zeroed in on automotive styling, but innovations in driver technology got equal play. From surround view cameras, active park assist, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist and forward collision warning, there’s a definite trend in taking the car from a driving apparatus to a full-scale interactive experience. Infotainment features on some vehicles include Apple’s Sir Eyes Free, Pandora, SoundHound embedded music search and Google destination search via smartphone — just to name a few.
The latest and greatest cars and trucks aside, another treat was seeing the renovated Cobo Center itself, including the new Grand Riverview Ballroom and soaring atrium. These areas are truly something to behold – especially with their view of the Detroit River, ice floes and all.
As the doors open to everyone January 18, I encourage you to make the trip to Detroit to be a part of the excitement that only the NAIAS can deliver. And, while you’re there, be sure to check out what’s new at Cobo Center. It’s truly a Detroit gem to be proud of.