DETROIT (WJBK) - Downstairs at the NAIAS auto show features new tech and mobility
It's not a car, it's not a truck, it's an aircraft at the North American International Auto Show.
"We need a 40 by 40-foot area to take off and land," said Jon Rimanelli, of AirspaceX. "For about $75 per seat, per person for every 15 minutes you can transport between cities, airports and suburbs."
Rimanelli is talking about his AirSpaceX. The model on display is about 1/3rd the size of the actual craft he has designed. He thinks the AirSpaceX will be approved and regulated in the next few years with possible demo flights happening by the year 2020.
The cars, trucks and SUV's are on the main level of Cobo. But when you visit the North American International Auto Show, go downstairs to see this tech.
If the cars are the stars, these startups and tech companies are the agents of change in the industry. Sure it's called the auto show, but it's really about mobility.
Auto mobility has grown. It's 150,000 square feet and features 57 startups. It's the brain trust behind tech that makes autonomous cars go.
Nexteer Automotive makes steering wheels. They're ready for autonomous vehicles. They'll tell you're already familiar with them in the car or truck you own now.
"We have cruise control, antilock brakes, Lane keeping, all of these functions are in cars today," said Patrik Ryne, of Nexteer Automotive. "So you already experience it and trust it and now there will be more and more added."
Nexteer showed off the steering systems which they are making fail safe. So if a car goes out of control ...
"You can just pull out the steering column inside a very short period of time," Ryne said. "You're not sitting there waiting for something to go down, or nothing you just grab it and start steering."
Also featured downstairs is technology to make sure parents don't leave their kids in the car, especially once they're autonomous.
A car that senses your body, your health, your ability to drive and whether you're leaving kids behind. It is tech which senses body heat, alcohol consumption, stress and fatigue.
"The car will need to understand more about the passengers," said Konstantin Berezinm of Caaresys startup. "What's going on in the cabin. How they feel. After an accident, how many passengers were there."
And what could the windshield look like in an autonomous vehicle one day? And what would it look like if you were driving in Detroit?
This software company shows off what it could look like. All the info you need, including the sensors on the self-driving car - all in front of you all the time.
"The industry is completely transforming," said Madison White, Wind River. "That means companies like ours and our specific area of intel, pushing the industry forward. Connectivity and mobility is the future."