General Motors, Ford, Chrysler set to show off latest tech innovations at 2014 Auto Show
7:50 PM, Jan 12, 2014
8:35 AM, Jan 13, 2014
DETROIT (WXYZ) - Car amenities have come a long way since the Flintstone's footmobile, which lacked power-steering, air conditioning or a floor.
So naturally we're excited to see what new tech innovations the Big Three are bringing to the North American International Auto Show this year.
I found the first advancement deep beneath the RenCen in the GM Innovation Lab where the automaker was getting set to unveil 4G LTE connectivity in a wide range of models available to drivers this summer.
What is 4G LTE connectivity? For family road trips, it's a lifesaver. It allows you to stream movies or music on over five different devices, at once, while your on the open road.
"So you have the kids in the backseat with their iPads, they can enjoy a high-speed WIFI connection," explained Phil Abram, GM's Chief Infotainment Officer.
That's right, no downloads, no buffering.
"We have a really good connection," said Abram.
Running on AT&Ts network, it's high-speed internet and an app shop, built right into your vehicle.
"We have a lot of great partners that we're bringing with us, like The Weather Channel or NPR," Abram continued.
There are eleven apps in total at launch, including Priceline. On a road trip and need a hotel? Your Corvette, Impala, Malibu or Volt can now find one for you.
If you arrive at your hotel, (or any other destination for that matter) in a Ford, "all you have to do is push a button," and the stress of parallel parking melts away. That's according to Greg Stevens, Global Manager for Ford Driver Assistance.
"The driver has to indicate where they want to search for a spot," said Stevens. Then your vehicle finds the spot and steers you in safely.
Look ma, no hands! And in the future, no feet.
"Automated driving is a major trend that's coming," assured Stevens.
Until then, we'll have to settle for self-steering Escapes, Fusions and Lincolns that keep you from drifting.
"If you start getting too close to the lane lines you get a vibration in the steering wheel, it feels sort of like you're going over rumble strips," explained Stevens.
And if that doesn't get your attention, Ford's Lane Keep Assist technology corrects the course for you.
Once you're back on track you can use Chrysler's cloud-based texting feature to let your friends know you're on your way.
You dictate that message - no thumbs required - and before the message is sent, UConnect repeats it back to you verbatim.
Meeting friends for coffee? Why not let your fellow Java lovers recommend where to find the best latte.
"It's searching the Yelp database to not just find coffee shops around you but also the most popular coffee shops [by] customer ratings," demonstrated Joni Christensen, Head of Marketing for Chrysler's UConnect system.
UConnect automatically puts the address into your navigation system, sending you on your way.
You can catch the latest version of the UConnect system on the 2014 Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Cherokee and all the Ram trucks at this year's auto show.