Driving towards tomorrow at the Detroit Auto Show

Global Business

Driving towards tomorrow at the Detroit Auto Show

Last year was a banner year for car sales around the world- especially in the United States and China.

That’s why the biggest automakers around the globe are pulling out all the stops, for the North American International Auto Show- better known as the Detroit Auto Show.

CGTN’s Nick Harper reports.

Driving towards tomorrow at the Detroit Auto Show

Driving towards tomorrow at the Detroit Auto Show

Last year was a banner year for car sales around the world- especially in the United States and China. That's why the biggest automakers around the globe are pulling out all the stops, for the North American International Auto Show- better known as the Detroit Auto Show. CGTN's Nick Harper reports.

It’s the battle of the big and the bold versus the clean, green machines. And that makes for uneasy mix of motors on the show floor.

Car companies are trying to push the plug ins, but know with prices remaining low, U.S. consumers would rather stick with gas. Last year, pickup trucks and SUVs accounted for almost 60 percent of U.S. sales.

One company looking to capitalize on that consumer demand is Nissan. It’s bringing its popular European Qashqai to the U.S. for the first time, rebranded as the Rogue Sport, to help drive sales.

“We see a major trend towards crossovers – all-wheel drive capable products with a lot more functionality, pretty much same fuel economy as a compact car and pretty much same price point. So focusing on becoming a leader in crossover and growing trucks is pretty much our strategy going forward and we’re going to bring some new surprises and make it better and better,” Christian Meunier, Nissan’s senior VP of Sales & Marketing and Operations said.

Companies have also created more crossovers this year – vehicles built on a car platform but combining features of the SUV- like Audi’s new SQ5 and Q8.

Volkswagen is hoping to clear the air with its electric concept vehicle, the ID Buzz. Though its color alone is probably not enough to divert attention away from the emissions test scandal, that’s cost the company at least $11 billion and dented consumer confidence.

Plus terrible timing saw Volkswagen executive, Oliver Schmidt, appearing in Federal Court in Miami, Florida on Monday for his alleged role in the cover up.


First intelligent highway system developed in Colorado

We’ve heard a lot about autonomous vehicles, computer-controlled cars navigating without the help of humans. How about a connected transportation program in which vehicles, people and infrastructure all communicate with each other.

A first-of-its kind smart highway system, which could reduce accidents significantly, is being developed in the U.S. state of Colorado. CGTN’s Hendrik Sybrandy takes a closer look.

First intelligent highway system developed in Colorado

First intelligent highway system developed in Colorado

We've heard a lot about autonomous vehicles, computer-controlled cars navigating without the help of humans. How about a connected transportation program in which vehicles, people and infrastructure all communicate with each other. A first-of-its kind smart highway system, which could reduce accidents significantly, is being developed in the U.S. state of Colorado. CGTN's Hendrik Sybrandy takes a closer look.

Globally, nearly 33,000 people on average are killed on roads and highways each day. The key to reaching that goal, many road planners said, is removing humans, the cause of many of those accidents, from the traffic equation. The Colorado Department of Transportation and Japan’s Panasonic Corporation are teaming up on a plan.

A new smart highway system will allow cars to receive real-time cellular, radio and roadway sensor data as well as share information with each other about traffic conditions.

Colorado hopes to roll out its smart highway by 2020 and expects other U.S. states to follow.


Shipeng Li talks about the Detroit Auto show

For more on the Detroit Auto Show, the global car industry, and the growing influence of hi-tech in modern cars, CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke to Shipeng Li, chief technical officer for IngDan- a firm that specializes in the Internet-of-things.