If you’ve ever attended the Chicago Auto Show, you know it’s the biggest car show in the nation, presenting car technologies from every leading automaker. Held this year at McCormick Place from Feb. 11-20, Chicago Auto Show 2017 had innovations you’ve only read about, yet perhaps haven’t seen in person. Here, you’ll see it all, including prototypes for experimental cars, plus interactive displays to present what lies ahead.
One thing you can expect every year from this event is the assurance you’ll see the latest auto trends. Almost everything showcased ends up on our roadways eventually. This year, you’re seeing far more exciting auto trends than ever, with many of them potentially changing how we drive.
Here’s some coverage on what’s going on at this year’s show, and what some of the major trends are.
Autonomous Cars Are the Biggest Buzzword This Year
As the Chicago Sun-Times notes, autonomous cars are what everyone’s discussing the most at the Chicago Auto Show. A more recognizable term is self-driving cars, something you’ve likely been reading about for the last couple of years.
Despite many complications in bringing self-driving cars into the mainstream (including security), you’re seeing a lot of prototypes on display at Chicago’s show.
The Volvo XC90 is one vehicle on display that shows off some of the autonomous features being marketed. Volvo’s S90 sedans also feature automation features. While not self-driving cars, a lot of autonomy comes in safety technology, not including innovative infotainment systems.
One thing you noticed if you attended the show was Volvo’s full commitment to the self-driving car market. Their XC90 above is going to soon become a driverless model for testing purposes.
Outside these exciting developments, discussions at the show about self-driving cars are more about how long it’ll take to make them mainstream rather than definite dates.
The Progression of Electric Cars
We all know electric cars aren’t new, though this year’s show gives you proof we’ll soon see more all-electric cars on the road. Accessibility to these cars has sometimes been a problem for all demographics, and we may soon see ways to amend this issue.
The all-electric car exciting everyone at this year’s Chicago show is the Chevrolet Bolt EV. Designed as a direct competitor to the all-electric BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf, the Bolt may change everything in making electric cars accessible.
What makes the Bolt stand out is it can give you up to 240 miles with just one charge. With a 240-volt outlet, you’ll be able to gain 50 miles of power in just two hours.
Price is also lower than you might think, making it far more accessible to average car buyers. It’s worth your time to see the one car that could finally make electric cars more mainstream.
Trends in Concept Cars
Part of the fun in attending the Chicago Car Show is seeing all the concept cars, including novelty vehicles made just for the event.
One of the highlights was Chevrolet’s Lego Batmobile, made from 344,187 Lego® bricks. At 17-feet long, it’s based on the Batmobile seen in “The Lego Batman Movie.” Yes, it can actually drive, but we probably won’t see Lego® cars on the road (or Lego architecture) any time soon.
Also on display was the Nissan Rogue One, built to look like a “Star Wars” Rebel starfighter. With “Star Wars” culture being perpetually ubiquitous, this SUV is worth a look as a continuing tie-in with recent “Star Wars: Rogue One.” Nissan rigged this up to include starfighter wings and thrusters as just some familiar features seen on the iconic X-Wing fighters.
As you might guess, it’s not for sale.
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