By Edward Cardenas
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – The North American International Auto Show opens to the general public Saturday at Cobo Center with ample amounts of polished cars, interactive displays and a remodeled convention center.
Throughout Cobo, the auto show exhibits offer a number of unique and interactive ways to learn about vehicles and the automotive industry.
For those planning on attending the show, which runs through Jan. 25, here are some of the top automotive, and non-automotive, displays and exhibits to see at the auto show:
- Local Motors is building a 3D-printed car on the main floor of the show. The company has a large, 3D printer which prints out the various components of the car. Attendees can ride in a previously printed, and assembled, car at the innovation track in the lower level Hall E at Cobo.
- Ford caught the eye of Tiger pitcher Justin Verlander with the new GT. While Verlander used social media to ask how he could get one, the general public can see it on display for all to see in the middle of the automaker’s exhibit.
- In addition to displaying a variety of cars and trucks, the Ford display offers a number of interactive games for auto show attendees of all ages. There are coloring areas for kids, driving simulators for parents, and in the Ford Innovation Park – which is surrounded by a variety of plants – there are swivel seats and a large screen on the ceiling that projects photos taken in the park.
- Kia has a photo booth at its exhibit which allows visitors to star in their own commercial with the company’s hamster mascots. After the video shoot is complete, users can have the commercial emailed to their inbox.
- Mini Cooper also joins in the video effort by letting attendees sit in a specially designed car equipped with a GoPro camera and virtually experience driving along winding roads while being filmed. Passengers can then have the video sent to their email inbox.
- Volvo takes auto show attendees on a 360-degree virtual ride with Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets where they see a Volvo XC90 assemble around them and they take a trip down a road as day turns into night.
- Honda also is utilizing Oculus Rift technology for a virtual reality simulator to learn about the dangers of distracted driving for teens and adults. Drivers get a 360-view inside the car as they drive and respond to various distractions.
- Smart phone users who are snapping photos, sharing comments about cars on social media and calling family members while visiting the show can recharge their devices at charging stations at locations including the Ford, General Motors, Infinity, Subaru and Scion in their displays.
- Scion also offers visitors to take photos with Instagram and then visit a vending machine for a chance to win swag from the automaker including hats and headphones.
- Cobo Center itself has new dining options for those attending the show. The center offer Go Natural retail outlet with a variety of fresh foods, sandwiches, beverages and snacks. There is also the City View Lounge which offers a number locally sourced, and inspired, menu items to fuel show-goers.