Why go to the auto show?
The auto show used to be the place for live reveals and for mobility education. The events were the primary means to showcase the latest technology in cars and to teach consumers how the technology benefited them. Guests were impressed by the cars on carpets, cars on spinning stages, and cars on rising platforms surrounded by smoke, lights, and music.
Today, auto shows still serve that same purpose. They still give us an intimate view of the latest technology on four wheels. We get to learn about the technology within the cars. And we can still sit inside our dream car and take it for a test drive.
Today’s auto reveals happen around the world via digital channels using augmented and virtual reality technology with virtual test drives. I took an augmented reality ride-along recently on a Porsche. We “drove” through winding streets at fast speeds. I must admit, I got a little motion sickness as a “passenger” in the car. While the feeling of a test drive was there, the actual experience fell short. I did not get to handle the steering wheel, press the acceleration, push the break, or see how my family and friends fit in the car. I did not get the new car smell or feel the seat I was on. The illusion was just that.
Don’t get me wrong. I love technology for all it does to make our lives safer and better. I love the virtual reveals and the ads showing the vehicles and their prowess. However, nothing can replace experiencing the actual cars as I do at the auto show. I can hear the roaring engine of the gas vehicle or drive with the purr of an electric motor. Each ride is distinctive. Each car is exceptional. Each experience is unique, and so is the auto show.