I had the privilege to be invited by She Buys Cars to attend the Washington Auto Show. I attended last year for the first time and had no clue what a travel blogger would find to write about. I was surprised to find lots that apply to a family and travel.
This year the opening keynote speaker was Harman CEO Dinesh Paliwal. He spoke about how his company which supplies many with audio and connected-car systems, is tackling security in autonomous vehicles head on. Harman is concentrating on four Cs: cloud, collaboration, customization and cyber security, with the last being the “most important.” One thing he stressed over and over was that we need diversity in the auto industry including more women in the engineering programs. To achieve that we need to start getting our daughters more interested in the STEM programs.
Cybersecurity was the phrase of the day. With the cars being more and more autonomous we need to make sure they are safe and secure. One interesting fact is right now there are around 30 different computer systems in a car but none actually talk to each other so a hacker may get access to the acceleration but not the steering at the same time.
One thing that the automakers are moving away from is in dash navigation. Most of us have smartphones with Waze or Google Maps on them. Those are updated more frequently than we update our cars navigation so automakers are now offering ways to connect your phones to their systems. That can be through Apple CarPlay and/or AndroidAuto. To get even more high-tech Hyundai’s luxury car Genesis connect with Amazon’s Alexa!!! You can tell Alexa to start your car for you in the mornings! How amazing is that?!?!?
Did you know that women influence 70 percent of car buying decisions? I know I took a huge role in buying our Nissan Murano in 2009 because it was going to be my car that I drove all the time with our daughter. Last year I noticed each booth had one or two sales ladies to talk with but this year they were the majority and there were only one or two guys in the booth. You can also see that more women are helping design the cars. Little things like being about to move a car seat without having to uninstall the baby’s car seat or being able to open a door without having to push any buttons. It all goes back to what Mr. Paliwal said we need more women in the engineering and design positions since we are the ones actually driving these cars now. Unlike how it was when our grandmothers were our age and the men drove the cars all the time.
The auto show is a very eye opening place to visit and next time we’re shopping for a car I hope it’s around the time of an auto show so we can go and window shop all the different cars and see which will work for us. I love being able to look at the cars, sit in them, test features, etc without feeling rushed or pressured to buy a car. It’s the perfect way to car shop!
Have you ever attended a car show? Have you gone just to go or to research a car for purchase?
The Washington Auto Show runs from January 27- February 5 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for tickets, full schedule and more, click here.
I received compensation for this post. As always, all opinions are 100 % my own.