Last Sunday, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) wrapped up its most successful show in over a decade. For 2 weeks, more than 800,000 visitors (up from last year’s 770,932) flocked to Detroit’s Cobo Hall for the premier of space-age concept cars, industry-leading technologies, and 50 brand-new models.
The jump in attendance follows a triumphant 2013 for the auto industry in which over 15 million vehicles were sold — a true achievement especially for American carmakers who celebrated their highest sales in 6 years.
With sales rising and an economy on the mend, innovation was in the spotlight at the NAIAS. Here are 4 exciting advances that debuted at this year’s auto show.
4 awesome innovations from Detroit’s Auto Show
1. Aluminum: the lighter, more efficient metal
The Ford F-150 is the best-selling truck in the U.S. and it’s getting a major makeover in the 2015 model year. In addition to fancy upgrades like an 8-inch LCD screen and “next generation” EcoBoost engine, the F-150 will also drop up to 700 lbs thanks to a military-grade aluminum alloy body. While they haven’t ditched steel entirely (the frame of the truck is still made of steel), the switch to aluminum will allow the 2015 F-150 to receive better gas mileage (up to 30 mpg on the highway compared to the 2014 model’s measly 16 mpg) without sacrificing strength.
2. Integration with Google Glass
Although the safety debate around driving with Google Glass continues, Hyundai has forged ahead and integrated the technology with the 2015 Genesis. This spring, Glass users will be able connect to their Hyundai’s Glass Blue Link app in order to unlock and start the car, send addresses to the in-dash navigation system, find the closest gas station, and more — all from their Google Glass.
3. A breath of fresh air for drowsy drivers
Another exciting announcement from Hyundai could help keep drivers more alert behind the wheel. The 2015 Hyundai Genesis will be equipped with a carbon dioxide (CO2) monitor that, when activated, will circulate fresh air from outside in order to control the air quality. Hyundai engineers believe that the CO2 exhaled by passengers and drivers can result in slow reaction times and make drivers less alert. By bringing in fresh air when CO2 levels get too high (above 2500 parts per million to be exact), Hyundai hopes to increase both comfort and safety.
4. A superior all-season tire
While perhaps not as flashy as other announcements, Michelin’s new EverGrip all-season tires could make life a lot easier for drivers everywhere. Said to be a safe, year-round alternative to traditional tires, the Michelin Premier All-Season will decrease stopping distance and help prevent hydroplaning. The tire is also said to maintain better traction over time, stopping faster on wet roads than other brand-new tires, despite being worn.
More to come in 2014
The NAIAS is one of many auto shows on the calendar this year. Over the next few months there’ll be plenty of buzz in the auto industry as other cities showcase the latest and greatest vehicle technology and innovation. Be sure to stay tuned for exciting updates out of auto shows across the nation (including the largest show in the U.S. — the Chicago Auto Show).
And don’t forget — when it comes to innovative, reliable car insurance, we’ve got you covered. Get a quote and find what you could save today.