January 19, 2018 8:06 pm
Updated: January 24, 2018 11:18 am

Montreal Auto Show big on technology

A car enthusiast checks out a car at the 75th edition of the Montreal International Auto Show at Palais des congrès. (GLOBAL NEWS)

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It’s exciting for some car enthusiasts, like Denis Talbot, to imagine how manufacturers will build cars in the future.

“They want the to car to be connected, to your house, to the street, to yourself,” he says.  “You become a part of this big intelligent technology.”

He’s the technology spokesperson for the 75th Montreal International Auto Show being held at the Palais des congres.  None of the 600 cars at the auto show has the technology that he’s talking about yet, but they aren’t too far away.

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First of all, there’s a huge variety of electric cars and hybrid vehicles on site.

“Forty-one dealers,” Talbot tells Global News, “and you can try nine of them in the streets of Montreal, nine kinds of electric cars, for free!”

But what organizers are hoping will get people really excited is the BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo that parks itself.

“With this car you tell it to park there, and it will actually see if it can fit.  If it does, you get out of the car, you press on a little handle and the car will manage to park itself, without you touching anything.”

There are also cars with what’s called “gesture detection” and that means the driver will never have to take their eyes off the road.

“You want to answer the phone, you [move your hand in a swiping motion] and it answers the phone.  Your eyes are always on the road.  You want to tune in to a radio station, you take your finger, and you [make a turning motion].”

Both BMW and Audi have cars at the show with that technology.  But there were people we spoke to who will miss the hands-on part of driving.  They expect that in a few years the way most cars will work will be very different from the way we’re driving now.

Christophe Rugambwa guesses that “within 10 to 15 years there’s going to be a lot more driver-less cars on the street than we see now and 20, 30 years from now we might all be driven by our own cars.”

Rugambwa says he’s not looking forward to it: “I like driving, I enjoy driving. That technology is not the best outcome for me.”

But he says if advances in new technology mean that the roads will be safer, he’ll live with it.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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