The Auto Show has returned to Montreal with 47 model launches which entailed loud music, flashing lights and the swish of covers sliding off, usually red new cars.
Technology was front and centre with most manufacturers but the emphasis has moved away from entertainment and navigation to safety and convenience. For the first time the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) split its Best New Technology award into two categories: The Best New Innovation Technology which recognizes an innovative technology whose primary purpose is not specifically safety related and The Best New Safety Technology which recognizes a technology whose primary purpose is to enhance road safety in any form.
Infiniti’s new Q50 sports sedan drove away with both for its Direct Adaptive Steering and Predictive Forward Collision Warning technologies. Direct Adaptive Steering technology – an aircraft-inspired industry first that allows the driver to choose exactly how the wheel feels in their hands was recognized as The Best New Innovation Technology and Infiniti’s Predictive Forward Collision Warning technology won The Best New Safety Technology award for its ability to warn the driver of risks that lie beyond the driver’s field of view. The system does this by not only sensing the relative velocity and distance of a vehicle directly ahead, but also of a vehicle travelling in front of that one (two cars ahead).
Ford which led the way with it’s powerful, if complicated SYNC/My Ford Touch is moving its emphasis this year to other areas of technology. A great example is the new Lincoln MKC small premium utility vehicle. It is loaded with what the company calls Lincoln Experiences. For example, The MKC will greet you with Approach Detection, which senses when an owner is near and responds by illuminating “welcome mats” on the ground next to both front doors. Simultaneously, headlamps, tail lamps and door handles glow with soft lighting tuned to complement the vehicle’s exterior color.
The Auto Show is at the Palais de Congres de Montreal until Jamuary 26