We just returned from press days at one of the most important car events of the year: the 2018 New York International Auto Show. Here’s what caught our eye:
Interactive Displays: Automakers got creative and embraced augmented reality and virtual reality in order to display their latest cars and technology. How did they do it? Dodge featured two Demons set up in a virtual drag race. The cars bucked in place and provided vibration feedback as the drivers sped down the strip.
At Nissan, users donned a pair of glasses to learn about the latest safety features on the Leaf via augmented reality. To learn about specific features, users simply focused on different icons floating in front of them. It’s more interactive than a promotional video (and much cooler, too).
Toyota wanted to make its Fine-Comfort concept vehicle more interactive, so they created a VR experience. Yes, the headsets are clunky, but once they’re on, you could sit in the driver’s seat and backseat. Toyota’s strength was making its VR experience feel more like stepping into the future. If you took a 360-degree look, you could see the interior of the car in full.
Consensus? These experiences won’t replace the traditional test drive any time soon. But for shoppers who want to see a car’s interior or do an initial walk around? AR and VR could help drivers throughout the shopping process.
Experiences: Ever wondered if you could tip over a Jeep Wrangler? We tried at Camp Jeep. Attendees drove cars over a set of obstacles to highlight the value of ground clearance and articulation. The ride was short, but Jeep gets credit for creating an experience like that in the middle of New York City.
Toyota worked with professional race drivers to show off the cool side of the Camry in the Camry Thrill Ride. It felt a little bit more unrestrained than Camp Jeep. To display handling, drivers floored it and maneuvered the car around tight turns. They then spun the car 180 and 360 degrees.
Consensus? Roller-coaster fans will love this.
New ways to fight distracted driving: Both the 2019 Acura RDX and Subaru Forester have introduced technology to combat distracted driving. The Forester uses facial recognition software to look for signs of drowsiness in the driver. The RDX built a one-of-a-kind trackpad that makes it easier to maneuver through the infotainment system.
Classic Cars, Supercars, and Concept Cars: We saw a vintage Lamborghini as well as a concept car from Genesis with a mostly glass exterior. And, of course, we made sure to pay a visit to the Koenigsegg station…
Consensus? We can’t wait to see what will be at the New York show next year.
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