Despite all he had seen in nearly three decades as executive director of Detroit’s annual auto show, Rod Alberts found himself staring in mild disbelief.
On a nearby video screen, he watched as an empty autonomous car parked itself, used a sensor to recharge its batteries through thin air, then returned to curbside to pick up its “occupants.”
Although controlled from the event’s lower ground floor in Detroit, the vehicle itself was over 7,000 miles away, in Shanghai. Captured in real time by three cameras, the demonstration used an “automated valet” system developed by ZongMu Technology, a Chinese start-up.
Increasingly, alongside their traditional sparkling new models on rotating stands, top car shows are mixing in heavy doses of technology and hands-on experiences like driving simulators and virtual reality demonstrations.
“Technology is here to stay,” Mr. Alberts said, noting the scores of start-ups at the North American International Auto Show last month in Detroit. “The mobility world, and our car shows, have changed a lot.”
[Carmakers no longer see auto shows as can’t-miss events.]
Ten years ago, Mr. Alberts estimates, the worldwide car population spanned 50 brands and 350 models. Today, with the disappearance of names like Saab, Scion, Mercury and Pontiac, and automakers like General Motors and Ford still trimming their lineups, he calculates those numbers have shrunk by as much as 20 percent.
All this means fewer cars on Mr. Alberts’ carpets. Moreover, as carmakers increasingly take advantage of social media and shorter build times, model introductions that historically took place in the fall and winter — when many shows are scheduled — now happen year-round.
However, despite recent headlines proclaiming the imminent demise of conventional car shows, those predictions seem premature.
The biggest events still draw large crowds, filled with plenty of potential buyers. Last year, an estimated 11 million people attended the nation’s 55 traditional car shows — excluding classic auto and specialty exhibits — according to Foresight Research, an industry data-tracking firm in Rochester Hills, Mich. Despite record-breaking cold weather, the Detroit show’s attendance reached a reported 774,000, off slightly from the year before but hardly dying.
“It’s true the shows are evolving — but in a positive way,” said Jennifer Colman, president of the Automotive Trade Association Executives. “They’re offering interactive apps, ride-and-drives and other experiences that meet consumers’ needs.”
Two years ago, the Detroit show teamed up with PlanetM, an initiative sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation that fosters emerging “mobility” technologies. This year, including ZongMu in China, 149 tech and start-up companies populated the Detroit show’s lower ground floor, in a showcase for potential investors. Among them:
BEDESTRIAN This start-up from Ann Arbor, Mich., plans to deploy autonomous robotic vehicles for “last mile” deliveries in congested urban areas. The company hopes to find a niche among elderly, disabled and veteran populations.
DERQ Based in Detroit and Dubai, this start-up is focusing on preventing vehicle and pedestrian intersection accidents before they happen. Its technology links “smart city” cameras and sensors to patented predictive algorithms that trigger audio and visual alarms in standard and autonomous vehicles.
SEEVA TECHNOLOGIES Seeva, a father-daughter start-up in Seattle, uses targeted streams of a vehicle’s heated washer fluid to clean windshields, cameras and sensors on self-driving and standard vehicles. Fully autonomous cars are expected to deploy dozens of such detectors, says Diane Lansinger, the chief executive.
“It’s a chance to expose new companies and technologies to potential investors and the traditional automotive world,” Trevor Pawl, PlanetM group vice president, said of the Detroit show. “And we get to do that here, where the industry began.”
Two months earlier, a similar transformation was apparent at AutoMobility LA, the big annual Los Angeles auto show.
As in Detroit, dozens of new car models were unveiled, and to great hoopla. But since 2016, when the Los Angeles show’s owners merged with Connected Car Expo, much had changed. The November event became one of the first to address the converging worlds of technology and automaking and to offer public forums for the discussion of knotty issues facing transportation.
For one thing, there was the show’s serious-sounding “Future of Human Driving” theme. Panelists wrestled with deep-think topics like “The New Demands of Car Design,” “Future Mobility and the Reimagined Car” and “Preparing Highways for the Autonomous Future.”
“This was the first time I’ve felt the kind of excitement you get at the Paris and Detroit shows,” said Kimberly Marte, a member of the design panel.
“We’re in a time of change in how we look at the whole future of transportation,” added Ms. Marte, a lecturer at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. “The L.A. show reflected that, and it gave the event a lot of weight.”
Ms. Marte singled out the show’s introduction of a water-wading electric pickup truck with a range of 400 miles. Made by Rivian, from Plymouth, Mich., the truck was billed as the first in a line of “electric adventure” vehicles.
[Amazon has invested in Rivian, a potential rival to Tesla.]
“It was a different kind of buzz,” she said. “Everybody was talking about it, surrounding that truck.”
Notably, the Los Angeles show was bracketed by two portentous announcements from the world’s largest automaker: Volkswagen will end production of its iconic Beetle this year, and it intends to cease gasoline and diesel engine development after 2026.
Even so, as Ms. Colman and others insist, car shows remain very much alive and kicking.
Steve Bruyn, Foresight’s chief executive, said the number of car-shopping attendees had recently grown, a gain he attributed to greater interest by millennials.
“The 18-34 age cohort has increased dramatically since 2015,” Mr. Bruyn said, and is now the largest single demographic among attendees who subsequently buy a vehicle.
“If anything, because of millennials, auto shows have increased in importance in terms of shopping,” he said. “These folks often don’t have prior experience or brand loyalty, so for them attending the show takes on added meaning.”
Since 1998, Kevin Mazzucola has been the executive director of the Philadelphia Auto Show, a more localized exhibit, held this month, that seasons its shiny metal with football cheerleaders and live radio broadcasts.
“When I look out and see 70,000 people on our floor on a Saturday afternoon,” he said, “there’s no question in my mind of the continuing importance of car shows.”
“Consumers revel in comparison shopping,” he added. “We give them a chance to see if that new S.U.V.’s third row of seats is really big enough to haul the kids to a soccer game.”
Despite his optimism, Mr. Mazzucola perceives a growing need for the shows to educate consumers, especially as the industry moves toward self-driving vehicles.
“Polls show the public is apprehensive about autonomous cars,” he said. “We need help from manufacturers to alleviate those fears, to use our shows to educate and expose consumers to new technology.”
That effort may get a boost next year, when the Detroit show shifts its schedule to June from its traditional January run. “We’re going to break the mold,” Mr. Alberts said.
The more temperate weather will allow the show to add 14 acres of outside space and take full advantage of the city’s revitalized riverfront and surrounding streets.
“We’ll have sun until 9 p.m.,” said Mr. Alberts, who predicts a galalike atmosphere comparable to the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England. The new show will be a hub for automotive technology, he said, one that offers consumers plenty of room for “experiential engagement.”
At least one of the Detroit show’s start-ups will welcome the change.
“We’ve got six products in development,” Ms. Lansinger of Seeva said, “so the show is definitely worth our time. But sometimes when I walk through the main floor I feel like I’m in a history museum.”
Doubtless reflecting the views of other technology companies, she hopes better weather will mean a chance to move upstairs, with the marquee displays.B:
太阳能六合一拼装玩具第二代“【主】【人】，【阵】【法】【已】【经】【布】【设】【完】【毕】。【这】【阵】【法】【主】【困】【人】，【那】【老】【家】【伙】【就】【算】【修】【为】【比】【我】【们】【高】，【也】【无】【法】【在】【短】【时】【间】【逃】【出】。”【苏】【明】【向】【着】【刘】【凯】【禀】【报】【道】。 【刘】【凯】【点】【头】，【吩】【咐】【两】【人】【分】【左】【右】【站】【住】【位】【置】。【刘】【凯】【随】【后】【凝】【聚】【分】【身】，【四】【道】【身】【影】【一】【齐】【走】【出】，【向】【着】【大】【山】【后】【方】【包】【围】【此】【山】。 【看】【着】【分】【身】【离】【去】，【刘】【凯】【却】【是】【微】【微】【皱】【眉】：“【修】【为】【竟】【然】【跌】【落】【了】。” 【分】【身】【之】【法】，
【在】【丹】【药】【阁】【自】【然】【有】【丹】【药】【买】【卖】，【这】【些】【都】【是】【大】【师】【们】【的】【手】【笔】，【价】【格】【更】【是】【不】【菲】，【毕】【竟】【丹】【药】【师】【这】【一】【行】【业】【实】【在】【是】【太】【烧】【钱】【了】，【每】【一】【个】【丹】【药】【师】【都】【可】【以】【说】【是】【被】【用】【灵】【石】【给】【推】【起】【来】【的】。 【王】【小】【天】【摇】【了】【摇】【头】：“【我】【是】【来】【考】【核】【的】，【就】【从】【最】【低】【级】【的】【来】【说】【吧】，【什】【么】【时】【候】【有】【丹】【徒】【的】【考】【试】【呢】？” 【一】【听】【王】【小】【天】【竟】【然】【是】【来】【参】【加】【考】【试】【的】，【这】【名】【侍】【女】【微】【微】【惊】【讶】，【小】【嘴】
【洛】【裳】【和】【喻】【冥】【对】【视】【一】【眼】，【二】【人】【直】【接】【传】【出】【藤】【蔓】，【不】【约】【而】【同】【地】【看】【了】【眼】【树】【洞】【的】【上】【空】，【黑】【雾】【已】【经】【尽】【数】【散】【去】【了】，【真】【就】【这】【么】【巧】【吗】？ 【两】【人】【走】【得】【远】【些】【了】【后】，【才】【现】【出】【了】【本】【身】，【不】【再】【隐】【匿】【起】【来】，【都】【朝】【着】【万】【年】【梅】【林】【的】【方】【向】【走】【去】。 “【你】【看】【尾】【生】【的】【样】【子】，【像】【是】【被】【依】【附】【了】【吗】？”【洛】【裳】【拧】【着】【眉】【头】，【问】【喻】【冥】。 【喻】【冥】【摇】【摇】【头】，【一】【脸】【的】【惊】【诧】【与】【疑】【惑】，【大】
【就】【在】【刚】【刚】【倪】【嘉】【恬】【给】【自】【己】【母】【亲】【打】【电】【话】【的】【时】【候】，【韩】【衍】【宪】【已】【经】【非】【常】【表】【明】【了】【自】【己】【的】【态】【度】【了】，【不】【管】【是】【韩】【衍】【宪】【出】【于】【嬉】【笑】【的】【态】【度】，【还】【是】【出】【于】【什】【么】【目】【的】，【倪】【嘉】【恬】【都】【知】【道】【韩】【衍】【宪】【肯】【定】【要】【去】【拜】【访】【自】【己】【的】【母】【亲】【的】。 【有】【一】【个】【男】【生】【真】【正】【想】【拜】【访】【自】【己】【的】【母】【亲】，【这】【就】【非】【常】【的】【确】【定】【韩】【衍】【宪】【对】【自】【己】【是】【有】【心】【的】，【但】【是】【倪】【嘉】【恬】【总】【是】【心】【里】【有】【一】【丝】【怀】【疑】，【有】【一】【丝】【不】【确】太阳能六合一拼装玩具第二代【就】【是】【这】【样】【的】【眼】【神】，【让】【苏】【红】【打】【了】【个】【寒】【战】，【反】【而】【清】【醒】【过】【来】【了】。【睁】【开】【眼】，【抬】【头】【望】【去】，【那】【男】【人】【也】【看】【着】【自】【己】，【眼】【中】【藏】【着】【柔】【情】，【也】【藏】【着】【试】【探】。【她】【抿】【着】【唇】，【回】【答】【他】【说】：“【奴】【婢】【苏】【红】……【啊】……”【惊】【呼】【中】，【对】【方】【又】【是】【把】【自】【己】【拉】【着】【胳】【膊】，【再】【一】【次】，【苏】【红】【本】【能】【地】【向】【前】【一】【扑】。【一】【抬】【头】，【就】【可】【以】【触】【及】【到】【他】【深】【沉】【的】【眸】【子】。 “【你】【还】【是】【不】【说】【吗】？”【翟】【天】
【不】【说】【这】【顾】【桂】【花】【进】【府】【后】【犯】【的】【种】【种】【浑】【事】，【光】【凭】【今】【日】【这】【一】【点】【她】【都】【别】【想】【善】【了】，【他】【就】【不】【信】【夫】【君】【能】【有】【这】【么】【大】【的】【宽】【容】【心】，【会】【容】【忍】【她】【今】【日】【犯】【下】【的】【这】【种】【错】【误】！ 【太】【好】【了】，【真】【是】【老】【天】【爷】【开】【眼】【呀】！！ 【顾】【桂】【花】【听】【着】【谢】【芙】【蓉】【冷】【嘲】【热】【讽】【的】【话】，【恨】【得】【牙】【痒】【痒】，【可】【是】【她】【昨】【晚】【不】【知】【道】【为】【什】【么】，【明】【明】【睡】【的】【好】【好】【的】，【醒】【来】【却】【发】【现】【自】【己】【和】【翠】【儿】【被】【几】【名】【小】【厮】【压】【在】【身】