Safe Driving Technologies Shine at 2013 Chicago Auto Show

CAS 2013 LOGO 330MEDIA INFORMATION
Contact: Mark Bilek
Director of Communications and Technology
Chicago Automobile Trade Association
Office: (630) 424-6082
Cell: (847) 652-0632
Email: mbilek@drivechicago.com

Contact: Jennifer Morand
Senior Public Relations and Social Media Manager
Chicago Automobile Trade Association
Office: (630) 424-6084
Cell: (630) 391-1986
Email: jmorand@drivechicago.com

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SAFE DRIVING TECHNOLOGIES SHINE AT 2013 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW
Manufacturers Adapt Infotainment Innovations to Meet New Safety Regulations

CHICAGO (February 14, 2013) - Cutting-edge technology tied to safe driving is one of the chief trends that surfaced at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show - the nation's largest. Manufacturers are hard at work developing new innovations that comply with road-safety regulations.

In an effort to keep Illinois roads safe, 75 municipalities throughout the state, including Chicago, have banned the use of cell phones while driving. Automakers have long been the leaders in developing hands-free interfaces allowing vehicle occupants to remain connected to their mobile device.

"Hands-free operation and smartphone interconnectivity applications are just some of the new technologies on display here at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show," said Chicago Auto Show Chairman Mike Ettleson.

Infotainment - described as information-based media content that includes entertainment - is on display in every exhibit and becoming mainstream in today's cars. Specifically, center console display screens have become increasingly popular in recent years. Although initially offering only general information like outside temperature, radio station and vehicle status, screen features have now expanded to include rearview cameras and apps similar to those found on smartphones. Some manufacturers, such as General Motors, offer technology that can read a driver's text message aloud without ever needing to reach for their phone.

"Since 2007, we've got a ton of smartphones just piling into people's pockets, so a lot of that technology and a lot of those trends we're seeing move into the vehicles," said David Szczepanski, lead connected customer specialist at General Motors. "With the [Chevy] Spark, the brain is really the phone...all of the data lives on your phone, the processing happens on the phone, but the screen is how you interact with it."

Szczepanski says that playing around with the new technology is a lot of fun, but that it will also help keep you safe. "If you ask [the technology] a question that it needs you to look at the phone, it will say 'Sorry, for your safety, I can't do that.'"

Kia Motors is also moving driver safety to the fore in its infotainment offerings. Kia Motors' Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications Michael Sprague says that Kia's UVO eServices, an in-vehicle communications and infotainment system, allows drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel and their eyes on the road. Sprague adds, "But [drivers can] still access their Blackberry, iPhone, or any other PDA that they bring into the vehicle so you can phone your friends, you can listen to your music, you can schedule service if your vehicle needs it; there's a whole slew of products that this vehicle can help you communicate with."

Infotainment and tech amenities have even made their way into trucks - a line of vehicles historically noted for their "work horse" capability and towing and load capacities. Doug Scott, Ford's truck group marketing manager, said the feature content in a number of Ford trucks rivals that of any vehicle on the road. However, Scott points out that Ford's concept trucks have even more to offer.

"Next gen LED lighting, toggle switches, a 10-inch screen in the center console...again, stretching the envelope. That's what you try to do with a design concept is give the customer an idea of what the future might look like and really stretch your boundaries," said Scott.

Other infotainment and technology features appearing in 2013 cars include:

* Active and passive safety technology
* Adaptive cruise control with brake assist
* Smart phone app integration
* WiFi hot spot

To request the video clips included in this release, please email Jennifer Morand at jmorand@drivechicago.com. For photo and logo assets for download, please visit: http://www.chicagoautoshow.com/media/online_newsroom.aspx.

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About the Chicago Auto Show
The Chicago Auto Show is the largest on the continent, spanning more than 1 million square feet of production, concept, and exotic vehicle exhibit space. In addition to hosting multiple world and North American vehicle debuts, the Chicago Auto Show's First Look for Charity raises more than $2 million annually for 18 worthy Chicago organizations in a single night. The 2013 public show will be February 9-18. For more information please visit ChicagoAutoShow.com or Facebook.com/ChicagoAutoShow.

About The Chicago Automobile Trade Association
Founded in 1904, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association is the nation's oldest and largest metropolitan dealer organization. It is comprised of about 400 franchised new-car dealers and an additional 150 allied members. The group's dealer members employ about 19,000 people in the metropolitan area. The association has produced the world famous Chicago Auto Show since 1935. For more information please visit CATA.info.

The 2013 Chicago Auto Show is officially sanctioned by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers. Founded in Paris in 1919, it is known as the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles.

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