Windsor·NAIAS 2018

Self-driving vehicle displays impress car enthusiasts at NAIAS

The North American International Auto Show opened to the public over the weekend. Large crowds flocked to the Cobo Centre in Detroit, many looking to learn more about autonomous vehicles.

'I think it would be a good thing in the future'

Crowds at the opening weekend of the North American International Auto show. (Melissa Nakhavoly/CBC)

The North American International Auto Show opened to the public over the weekend and large crowds flocked to the Cobo Centre in Detroit, with many looking to learn more about autonomous vehicles. 

"I think it would be a good thing in the future," said Jim Davis who attended the auto show Sunday. "I just want to see where it's at right now." 

Several people told CBC News they're excited by the freedom autonomous vehicles could provide, especially during longer commutes.

"My husband and I get awfully tired of driving ... it's hard to drive," said Sandra Nicks who frequently travels to South Carolina from Pontiac, Mich.

Sandra Nicks (left) is excited for autonomous vehicles to eventually hit the market. (Melissa Nakhavoly/CBC)

The mechanics of self-driving cars are on display at NAIAS, including sensor technology and a virtual reality simulator. Crowds were impressed by the new gadgets. The technology even impressed people who are not old enough to drive.

Bennett Laurie is only 13-years-old, but can't wait until he's older and automated cars are on the market. 

"I think it's pretty cool," said Laurie, adding the best feature of the autonomous vehicle concept cars are panoramic sunroofs.

Visitors to NAIAS 2019 take a peek at displays showcasing new technology. (Melissa Nakhavoly/CBC)

While much of the response to the autonomous vehicles have been positive, some are still concerned over what the move toward self-driving cars will mean for jobs.

"I think self-driving cars have a lot more impact on markets and companies like Uber and taxis. If a car can drive itself, then why would you need a corporation like that?" wondered Donavon Greening, who spent Sunday afternoon at the show.

Though Greening says he likes the idea of driverless vehicles, he believes there are some risks.

"There will definitely be risk involved with mechanics and putting trust into a computer because the human will be a lot less in touch with what's going on with the car," he explained.

You can check out the mechanics of the self-driving car and try the simulator at NAIAS until January 28.

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