Last Thursday, we attended the LA Auto Show which is a technologic transportation wonderland of things to come. A bit like a Disney ride telling future tales of travel, there’s a lot to take in. Thus, we wanted to share with you our picks for the coolest things at the show. And, although there are many cool things, these are the things that you need to keep your eyes peeled for and definitely sift through the crowd to get to.
The BMWi cars were one of the only products at the show that were constantly flooded with people–and we weren’t even there when there was a lot of people! The cars are designed in a way that just look so eye catching and sleek paired with them being electric, a big buzzword floating around the show (of course). There are two versions of the car: the i8 and the i3. Although the i8 was the sexy version of the same idea, everyone was more taken with the i3′s more subdued look and overall feel because, well, if you are driving that insane of a car, you don’t want to look like an asshole.
Cadillac had a few cool things to share. They had a few concepts, like the land yacht that is the Ciel, but the biggest item they were pushing wasn’t a car, but a car accessory: the CUE (“Cadillac User Experience”). The basic idea behind CUE is Siri for cars. While you can’t speak to it directly, the product transforms your dash and speedometers into a computer screen, to display music, calls, directions, etc. The displays also have brilliant haptic feedback and are crafted in a way that it is only on when you need it to be. It was cool listening to Cadillac’s VP and designers give a presentation on the subject, which served as a reminder that they were the orginators of such revolutionary car technology like OnStar. CUE is likely to be the next Onstar for the company.
Everything about Doking certainly looks and sounds like a character out of Pokemon. But, actually, it’s a luxury sports car packed into a tiny, tiny package. The Doking was placed in the room with Aston Martin, Bentley, and other high luxury brands but–really–nothing else in the room compared to this tiny, crazy designed vehicle. With doors that open up, four electric motors, able to reach 140 KM/hr (which is only about 90 MPH), and white/orange Xs on the back for lights, this little guy was everyone’s eye candy. The LA Auto Show was XD Doking’s debut and, boy, did it make quite a splash for us.
The Nissan Food Trucks
These were by far the most impressive presentation: real, working food trucks at Nissan. The car company crafted two food trucks with locals The Grilled Cheese Truck and Cool Haus, who were preparing (free!) food stuffs when we were there. It was most impressive because, firstly, they weren’t just for show but they were totally in action. Secondly, they were able to land the best of the best of local food truck brands. We’re not sure if they’ll be open all week but they definitely were when we were there and we were most impressed. It’s great to see companies “do the work” with things like this as other companies (ahem, Ford) did similar things but neglected to actually have these brand endorsed “food trucks” in action. The Nissan Food Trucks may be a game changer in this automotive culinary field.
The Prius Presentation
The new Prius family has been on everyone’s mind for some time because, well, Priuses are such a status symbol for forward thinking “successful” people (especially in Los Angeles). The new Prius family introduced a small, regular, large, and electric model and–really–you can’t tell the difference between any of them. The best part of the Prius area was all of the work they did to help you discover more about the Priuses and figure out which was best for you. These efforts included multiple touch walls, commercials being displayed, and a nifty walkthrough above the space with little iPad like screens to help you figure out “which Prius you needed.”
The last observation was a trend, which we noticed from a few brands: Smart Car knockoffs.
Normally, we’d call out copycats and rip them apart, but this was actually really refreshing. In addition to the aforementioned Doking, Chevy’s Spark, Mitsubishi’s iMiev, and Scion’s iQ all went for these mega compact cars that were both fuel efficient and sleek. It was amazing to see them and see that, yes, finally everyone is moving toward these types of things. It also was a vote of confidence that we, in Los Angeles who use cars all the time, have a hopeful future to look forward to.