So when I went last year I went to try to get a job in the auto industry. I just graduated with a degree in engineering, and where else would be better to find a job in the industry than at a trade show? Well turns out that no one that ACTUALLY works for the auto companies is presenting the vehicles; they're all good looking marketing firms that were hired to look good next to the cars. I did find a couple suppliers that had actual employees showing off their stuff, but that's old news. This year, I have a full time job and was able to just enjoy the cars and booth babes, and try out my new video camera.
OK, so lets start at the start of the day, before I get to the auto show. Last year I went with my dad, Z-man, and his mom, L; and this year I went with the same group. Z-man and L were only going to be able to go early Sunday morning, so we all went early Sunday morning. We piled into the L's mini-van and went to Cobo convention center. L wanted to look at Honda and Kia, Dad wanted to look at GM, I wanted to look at Chrysler and Ford, and Z-man just wanted to look around. We got there before they opened, so we just waited in line. We wanted to go in at entrance B, because that was closest to the cars we wanted to see. I pulled out my 3DS to fight off boredom while waiting. My party went to check out other lines to make sure we were in the right line, and no one really told me so I went in at entrance A and found them afterwards. Woops, oh well, I found them with cell phones.
Dad and I first went to GM. The cars and SUVs were cool, but the best thing was the Lego Batmobile. It was half a million Lego bricks, and it was like full 1:1 scale of a Batmobile. Check out my video. After GM, Dad and I went to Chrysler, but first we took a little look Kia. We just looked at this arctic outfitted truck, with super snow caterpillars. Since my brother goes to school in the North where there's lots of snow, we joked that he needs this.
The really cool GM concept tires. These things could move sideways. To demonstrate they had these little RC cars that were controlled with a logitech PC controller.
OK now for Chrysler. I'm a bit of a Chrysler guy. I got to sit in a bunch of cool vehicles. I liked the Jeeps and Dodges so this was going to be cool. They had some commercial vehicles on display, like a large panel van that was larger than an ambulance. I climbed into the drivers seat, and it sat like 4 feet off the ground. After sitting I climbed through the back. Wow there was a lot of space. I also saw an air shocks demonstration for the pick-up trucks. Basically when you put a really heavy load in the back, the socks compensate by raising the back so it isn't back heavy and screwing up the aerodynamics. I told my grandpa about it later and he said that the technology isn't anything new, like the concept existed when he worked for the auto industry 50 years ago, but they were never able to get it to work since air leaks were inevitable. I guess they fixed it now. It was pretty cool. I sat in some other cars, and it was fun. I also saw their concept car, the Portal. It basically is a smart car (smart like "smart phone" not like the 2 passenger "smartcar") that recognizes the passenger and customizes the experience for them, as well as being autonomous (drives itself). I enjoyed the show, and let me tell you, it was A SHOW. The other companies just showed off their cars, and maybe had some videos playing. Chrysler on the other hand, had multi-screen videos, big bass boosts, and lights that changed based on the video that was playing. It was a theatrical performance. Really cool. Also, Chrysler had some of the best booth babes. No one else really had any pretty ladies standing next to the cars, and those that did weren't as plentiful and good looking as the ones at Chrysler.
After Chrysler, Dad and I met up with Z-man and L and went to Toyoda. I don't care much for Toyoda, but when in Rome. I saw a Toyoda hydrogen fuel up station, and it was interesting; different from what I'm used to seeing. I sat in a Nascar that they had on display. I asked the attendant "what's the sticker price on one of these?" since it kind of is meant to display upcoming vehicles for the consumers. She didn't know, and it really doesn't matter. There was also a really cool handicap option on the minivan. Basically one of the back seats swings out of the side door and lowers so the user only has to sit down and press a button to bring them back into the car. This option would be perfect for my grandparents since they have a lot of trouble getting in and out of cars. I also saw this van that had basically a whole living room in the back. Like, there were recliner seats and a 30 inch TV, with foot panel floors. This wasn't some little entertainment package, this was the real deal. It also had some impressive rims.
After Toyoda we walked around some. I saw some suppliers. They were kind of cool. I saw some luxury cars and they were cool. There was also BMW, sat in a sports car. I saw Volkswagon and their updated VW Bus, and it looks perfect for the modern hippy. After them I stopped at Smart, because I like to laugh at Smart cars. I sat in one, and it was silly how small they are. I don't get why someone would want an adult cozy coupe, but but whatever. It's just for goofs.
Everyone was starting to get a little tired. I could have probably gone a lot longer, but when you're with a group you kind of need to go with everyone. My last stop was Ford. I'm not a big Ford guy, but Ford has a bunch of fun activities. I remember there being some driving simulations, some feature activities, a "feel the wind in your face" thing, and of course the cars. It was fun.
After that we went to the lower level. Last year there was army vehicles like buggies and tanks. That was cool. This year it was hobby race cars, like not nascar or formula 1, but like hobbyist who have souped up cars and race on amateur tracks. They were cool. I also saw a Lightning McQueen and the Bonny Hunt car. That was cool. After I saw my fill I sat down at one of the video demos, and enjoyed the rest.
After all that we left. I enjoyed my time. It was a fun 4 hours. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I look forward to next year. I had some fun talking about it with my coworkers. There was a lot more VR this year, but with that being the main stream gimmick, I guess that is to be expected. The hand stamp lasted about a week. I don't know why, but whenever I get my hand stamped for something the ink lasts like a week. Well, this has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.