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A leaderboard found at Chevy's "Tech Studio" displaying the best completion times of an RC car course at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich. (Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers/Michael Fossbakk)

Auto Show 2018: VR Experiences, Autonomous Tech & More


The 2018 North American International Auto Show is underway and whether this is your first time or your 20th time attending the show, there are some really cool things to check out and even some to get your hands on!

Over at the Chevrolet booth, you can check out all of our great vehicles, like the Malibu and Equinox. But, the vehicle that’s stealing the show this year is the 2019 Chevy Silverado with eight different models that are sure to appeal to all kinds of truck owners.

If you love Chevy’s state of the art vehicles and want to know what it feels like to ride in one, hop on over to Chevy’s virtual reality area, one of several hands-on experiences. If you choose to take part in the virtual reality experience, which I highly recommend you do (so long as you aren’t prone to motion sickness, of course), you’ll take a seat in a motorized chair that pivots itself up and down throughout the experience. Strap on a pair of virtual reality goggles with accompanying headphones and let the experience take you away.

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Display celebrating 100 years of Chevy Trucks at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich. (Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers/Michael Fossbakk)

In fact, the VR experience will take you to three locations in five different vehicles all accompanied by “Jim,” your driver, who will tell you all about the cars and tracks along the way.

For you off-roaders, you’ll get a kick out of taking a trip to the Yuma Proving Grounds in the Colorado ZR2 where you’ll feel the thrill of climbing and driving down steep desert hills. Using the Bolt EV, you’ll take to a course designed to simulate driving in a city, as well as a cold chamber designed to test the fortitude of the Bolt EV’s battery in extremely cold conditions. Over at Michigan’s own Milford Proving Grounds, you’ll test out the Equinox, Cruze Hatchback and, my personal favorite, the Camaro. Speeding around the track, I could practically feel the horsepower in my seat.

Oh, and, the motorized seats will blow scented air at you every so often to better immerse you in the setting. That trip to the Yuma Proving Grounds? Yeah, I could definitely smell some dirt in the air. Weird, but also kind of cool.

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The Chevrolet Design Studio found at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich. (Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers/Michael Fossbakk)

After you re-acclimate yourself to reality, walk five feet over to the Design Studio, where you can design your own vehicle or attempt to sketch an existing Chevy design. The best part is that when you’re done, you can have them send you a short video of your sketch and, of course, take the physical copy home with you!

Lastly, if you head over to the media information desk in Chevy’s booth, you’ll find a third hands-on activity behind the digital display that’s sure to be showing off the new 2019 Silverado. That third activity is a test to see if you can pilot a radio-controlled (RC) vehicle faster and safer than one equipped with many of Chevy’s autonomous safety technologies, like lane keep assist and low-speed forward automatic braking. You’ll not only be competing against the artificially intelligent RC car but other attendees that have completed the course fast enough to earn a top spot on the leaderboard.

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A remote-controlled car on a scaled course designed to test autonomous Chevrolet technology at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich. (Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers/Michael Fossbakk)

If you’re still looking for more to get your hands on at the show, head downstairs to Hall E for AutoMobili-D, a showcase of technologies and more designed to improve the life of a vehicle owner and operator. There are people working on everything from improving autonomous vehicle technology and digital license plates that can be managed and updated through an app on your phone to fabric that is completely water resistant, almost making messes in your car a thing of the past. Almost.

What will you be checking out at the 2018 North American International Auto Show? Will you be taking a ride in Chevy’s VR experience or maybe taking a stab at designing your own car? The show is open to the public January 20-28, so get your tickets now before it’s all over!

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