Sure, there were some truly bad ass cars featured at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, as always. But killer horsepower and amazing design weren‘t the only features that impressed. The state-of-the-art auto technology and concepts that were unveiled were enough to make even our ultra-innovative heads spin; from the electric Strati car by Local Motors that was 3D-printed live at the show and zipping around a mini track inside the Cobo Center, to the Mercedes-Benz’ concept car of the future that drives you around while you socialize with your passengers.
Want to get a taste of what’s in store for the future of the auto world? Check out some of our favorite future finds at NAIAS 2015.
We’re huge fans of 3D printing at Hello Innovation. In fact, we’ve got more than a reasonable amount of 3D printers set up around our office so we can play with the technology and print awesome sh*t. So when we heard there were multiple 3D-printed cars at the auto show, we were all about it.
For all the classic car lovers, one of the most rare and coveted classic cars out there﹘the 1965 Shelby Cobra 427﹘also made an appearance at the auto show, this time with a modern overhaul. The sleek look of the 3D-printed chassis and intricately detailed grill proved one thing is for sure – 3D printing may soon be a contender in the future of automobile design.
Next up was the electric Strati by Local Motors made totally out of 3D-printed carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic. Not only was Local Motors live 3D printing the Strati at the show, but they were also driving around a completed version on a mini track.
One trend that many automakers are looking to in the future is autonomous operation – a car that could operate on its own, without the need for manual steering or acceleration. But this isn’t just some far-off technology for the very distant future. Many automobile companies are developing this technology right now.
The Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion was one concept car focusing the most on autonomous operation. Mercedes foresees a future of autonomous-only city zones where, once “conductor mode” is engaged, drivers can swirl around to talk face-to-face with their fellow passengers and relax during their drive.
The “technology of things” is taking over everything, including the auto world. Sure, you can currently sync music up with your car or answer phone calls over Bluetooth, but the social and digital integration of automobiles in the future plans to blow that technology out of the water.
The 2016 Audi Q7 unveiled a large multi-media interface right on the center console of the vehicle, much like the ones we use with personal computers today. They also introduced two “infotainment” tablets in the rear seats which feature top-of-the-line processors, wifi, HD cameras and more.
The Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion also puts the idea of social integration at the forefront of its concept with an all enveloping “digital arena” that features touch-sensitive screens, gesture-based controls and even eye-tracking technology to help you complete your tasks more efficiently.
The final industry trend that was more present than ever at the auto show was lighter vehicles – both in weight and in engine size. From the 2016 Audi Q7 that came in 716.6 pounds lighter than its predecessor, to traditionally heavy models such as the F-150 and Range Rover Sport being slimmed down, many automakers are cutting weight. Why? Lighter vehicles means reduced fuel consumption and reduced emissions.
The auto show also brought a surprising glimpse into lightweight super cars. The two hottest vehicles at the show – the 2017 Ford GT and the Acura NSX – feature inside specs like we’ve never seen before in the performance arena. For instance, the GT features an impressively lightweight 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine.
The Acura NSX boasts a hybrid drive train consisting of a gasoline V6 engine powering the rear wheels, and two electric motors powering the front wheels. At this rate, we may just see our first full-blown super car with a four-cylinder engine within the next 10 years.
Super cars and 3D-printed automobiles weren’t the only wheels rolling through the auto show. Hello Aerial left the skies and hit the ground to film the hottest technology at NAIAS 2015. Want to see our remote-controlled Junior Motocam equipped with the Red Epic Dragon in action? Stay tuned for our behind-the-scenes blog coming soon!
Location: Detroit, MI, United States
Footnotes: Images and videos produced by Hello Aerial, a Hello Innovation company located in Detroit, Michigan. www.helloaerial.com
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