Since 1907, the LA Auto Show has been a landmark feature of the city’s pre-holiday attractions. During the annual event, spectators flock to the Los Angeles Convention Center to see the vast array of cars, concepts, and technologies. In response to these rapid technological advancements, organizers have created a one day spotlight called the Connected Car Expo to showcase the finest display of on the cusp automotive technology.
Best Hybrid Sports Car
BMW’s new hybrid, the i8, is an intricate combination of speed, efficiency and aesthetic aerodynamics. Outfitted with a three-cylinder, 1.5-liter BMW TwinPower turbo gasoline engine and a 7.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack estimated to deliver an all-electric range of 22 mi, the i8 is capable of reaching a top speed of 155mph, and reaches 60mph in less than 4.5 seconds. The i8 is projected to be available to the public by early 2014.
Engine 1.5L TwinPower
Best Hybrid Supercar
2015 Porsche 918 Spyder
The 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder is every sports car enthusiast’s wildest dream. With its 795-hp V8 hybrid powertrain engine, the 918 Spyder is able to accelerate from 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 215 mph. These staggering numbers have separated the Porsche 918 Spyder from its hybrid competitors, and it even gets excellent gas mileage too! It has an all-electric cruising range of 18 miles and an estimated hybrid cruising range of 85 to 94 miles.
Engine 4.6-liter V8; 875 hp
Best Non-Hybrid Sports Car
Aston Martin Neiman Marcus Vanquish Volante
Relish in the fact that there are only 10 of these cars in the world. The limited edition Aston Martin Neiman Marcus Vanquish Volante sports a 100% carbon fiber shell, unlike any of its predecessors, which enhances safety, performance, and handling. Under the hood, the Volante is pure power. Donning a 6.0-liter V12 Aston Martin engine, it can reach a top speed of 183 mph and accelerates from 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds.
Engine 6.0L V12; 556hp
The Honda FCEV’s ultra-aerodynamic chassis and prominent, sweeping character lines set the bar high for futuristic design. Honda’s concept car runs on a hydrogen fuel-cell engine that is anticipated to deliver an estimated driving range of over 300 miles. Although only a concept, production of the car in the United States and Japan is expected to begin in early 2015. The future is nigh!
Cruising Range 300
Connected Car Expo
Preceeding the LA Auto Show, this B-to-B event brought together auto manufacturers with entrepreneurs. Three companies that shined were:
The new SprintVelocity is outpacing the competition and setting the blazing a trail thanks to a customizable connected car-experience built around a global, open-source telematics platform.
Telenav (Scout for Cars)
The growing use of smartphones and mobile services has resulted in a cluttered heap of apps and interfaces, not intended to be accessed on the go. Scout for Cars connects your car with your phone and the cloud, giving you access to everything you need whenever you need it.
Taking a three pronged approach to the relationship between one’s car and one’s smartphone. Smartlink, EOLAS-EV and Weblink all connect vehicles with smartphones via the cloud.
Estify Wins FASTPITCH Competition
This competition gives app developers and aspiring auto technology companies the rare opportunity to feature their innovations and present pioneering mobility solutions to influential industry leaders. Hundreds of entrants were whittled down to eight finalists, who then pitched their product to auto industry executives. Shark Tank personality and entrepreneur Robert Herjavec awarded top honors to Estify, a Los Angeles company founded by Jordan Furniss, Derek Carr, and Taylor Moss, that developed an auto collision repair automation app. The winning prize, valued at $40,000, included a Splunk Start Program Enterprise License (20GB for 12 months), Splunk education, and marking and support teams.
CSQ Los Angeles is obviously a tremendous buyers’ market for automobiles. Beyond that, why is it important LA plays host to one of the country’s largest auto shows?
Brendan Flynn Since the early 1900s, Los Angeles has been a car town watched by the rest of the world for setting trends. LA has the highest concentration of advanced design studios in the nation, making it not just the place where cars are sold but also the epicenter of design. Automakers from around the globe come to LA to unveil their most innovative products in the entertainment industry capital of the world with all its glitz, glam, and celebrity cache. And, while Los Angeles is the nation’s second biggest media market, the automakers fly in media from more than 50 countries, making the LA Auto Show a true world stage for new product introductions.
CSQ Some of the concepts to come out of the design contest were mind-blowing. What was your favorite?
BF The topic of biomimicry is fascinating and this year I have to side with our esteemed judges, who selected China’s SAIC, the parent company of Roewe and MG brands, as the winner in the LA Auto Show Design challenge with its Mobiliant Concept. The Chinese auto industry is largely unknown in the U.S., so it was great to see a Chinese studio take top honors.
CSQ What’s on tap for next year? Can you give us a preview?
BF 2013 was a tremendous year of change for the LA Auto Show but 2014 is when we will see a lot of the hard work pay off. We anticipate bigger debuts, more exhibitors, more interactive displays, more auto industry events and more of the world turning to Los Angeles as a place to celebrate the automobile and the industry.
CSQ How do you accommodate VIPs? Any plans to expand on that moving forward?
We are working on an exclusive VIP program to accommodate the industry and celebrity VIPs that call LA their home. We hope to be working with CSQ to help execute this VIP program with style.
Ben Vos, Vice President of Sprint’s Emerging Solutions Group, oversees many aspects of M2M business, focusing primarily on Sprint’s connected vehicle platform, VelocitySM. In his 25-year tenure at Sprint, he has overseen the development and sales of comprehensive M2M solutions for the retailer, insurance, and transportation industries. CSQ recently got his perspective on Sprint’s latest innovation, unveiled at the CCE.
CSQ What exactly is Sprint Velocity?
Ben Vos Sprint VelocitySM helps car makers more easily integrate complex components and vendor relationships in cars and passenger trucks – be it music, news, weather, sports and other infotainment features, security, navigation, remote connections for mobile devices, emergency services, and engine diagnostics.
CSQ How does Sprint Velocity work?
BV Through the Sprint VelocitySM platform, Sprint helps carmakers integrate wireless in-vehicle M2M solutions, including infotainment; remote access; automatic crash response/roadside assistance; and vehicle diagnostics. Sprint Velocity delivers value to automakers by combining Telematics Integration, Wireless Applications, Wireless Customer Experience, Customer Relationship Management, and Global Communications.
CSQ How does Velocity differentiate itself from some of the most innovative features that are currently available?
BV While Sprint Velocity is a stand-alone business unit solely focused on the needs of the automotive industry, it is an integrated part of our core business – from the technical elements to consumer insights. Our approach elevates wireless services in vehicles beyond traditional “telematics,” and rather looks ahead to the next generation of the holistic connected customer.
CSQ In what areas is Sprint leading innovation in the market and how do you encourage innovation within Sprint?
BV Commitment to innovation is a pervasive core principle throughout Sprint, and Sprint Velocity is one result. Our idea was to take telematics as a starting point and lead our industry by building a true core competency as a systems integrator. But we also included specialized expertise in areas like consumer marketing, consumer subscription management, data analysis and billing. And we continue to innovate with our recently announced Sprint Velocity Connect capability, which supports additional hardware over a cloud-based architecture.
All of this happens in the larger context of Sprint’s culture, crossing all our internal groups and initiatives. Nowhere is that more true than our network team. We showed this dramatically in October by introducing our super high-speed Sprint Spark network capability. We expect to extend this to 100 million Americans by the end of 2014.