10 Cool Things We Saw at the Detroit Auto Show

Electric vehicles flooded the event along with automated driving technology, accessories, and more.
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Photograph courtesy of the Detroit Auto Show

The 2023 Detroit Auto Show is at Huntington Place, Sept. 13-24, with the public show kicking off on Saturday, Sept. 16.

On media day, which was Sept. 13, we got the chance to preview the new vehicles, technologies, and driving accessories spread across the 85,000-square-foot showcase floor. Fully electric engines, automated driving cars, and sleek, futuristic designs were seen everywhere amongst vehicles that do more than just navigate the road.

Among some of the interesting things were a solar-powered racecar, a fully electric helicopter, and even a flying car. Traditionalists worry not though, there’s no shortage of good old-fashioned combustion-engine luxury vehicles like Cadillacs and Corvettes.

Multiple driving courses showcased the off-road capabilities of new trucks and provided attention-grabbing interactive exhibits that took up huge spaces on the show floor — there’s even a miniature one for the kids.

With so many interesting exhibits and activities, it’s hard to describe all the must-see things at this year’s auto show, but here’s a closer look at the top 10 things we think are cool:

AIREV Fully Electric Helicopter

Photograph by Jack Ritchey

Who said the auto show was limited to cars? AIREV showcased their AIR ONE fully electric helicopter alongside a virtual reality flight simulator. The AIR ONE can travel up to 155 mph over a max range of 110 miles and can fully charge from zero to 100% in just one hour.

2024 Corvette E-Ray

Photograph courtesy of Jack Ritchey

The 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray has a zero to 60 mph time of 2.5 seconds, crowning it the fastest accelerating Corvette ever. It comes equipped with a hybrid engine that allows drivers to travel up to 45 mph in “stealth mode” on its fully electric-powered front axles.

Alef Flying Car

California-based Alef Aeronautics presented their fully electric flying car prototype, the Model A. For an expected price tag of $300,000, in 2025 drivers can travel up to 200 miles on the road or 110 miles in the air. The futuristic vehicle doesn’t have wings, but instead features eight electric motors under mesh body panels that allow for takeoff and landing like a helicopter.

University of Michigan Solar Car

Photograph by Jack Ritchey

The University of Michigan’s Solar Car Team made an appearance at the auto show with their recent model, the Aevum. The team has built, designed, and raced solar-powered vehicles since 1989. Their newest model, the Astrum, will see the organization return to the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge this October.

Ram Truck Indoor Track

Photograph by Jack Ritchey

One of the many indoor driving tracks at the event, the Ram Truck Territory Indoor Track Experience is a 30,000-square-foot space where professional drivers chauffeur attendees as passengers through an off-road style course. New this year is a 26-degree convex wedge meant to showcase the capabilities of the 1500, 2500, and 3500 Dodge Rams.

May Mobility Accessible Toyota Sienna

The Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS is a hybrid minivan compatible with third-party autonomous driving kits that aim to lead the way when it comes to accessible transportation. The car features an ADA-compliant wheelchair ramp, passenger screens, and audio cues.

Reviver Digital License Plates

While not offered by the state themselves, digital license plates are legal in Michigan, as well as Arizona and California. Reviver’s digital plate offers light and dark modes, personalized banner messages, enhanced fonts, and even emojis. They offer real-time vehicle tracking and can display if the car has been stolen.

Shamir Driver Intelligence Glasses

Some accessories were also on display, like the Shamir Driver Intelligence lenses, designed specifically to help drivers see more clearly in any lighting or conditions. The Sun and Moon versions offer sharper vision, enhanced color contrast, and improved reaction times by wearers.

Camp Jeep Kids Zone

Photograph by Jack Ritchey

Younger auto show visitors can enjoy an outdoor-themed play area at the Camp Jeep Kids Zone for “adventure enthusiasts.” It features a 26-foot rock climbing wall and Power Wheels toy Jeeps on a closed track.

2025 Cadillac CT5

Cadillac debuted their 2025 CTS, a “bolder version of the luxury sport sedan.” The car boasts a new 33-inch LED touchscreen display capable of 9k resolution.

For more information on the Detroit Auto Show and other highlights, visit naias.com. Plus, be sure to visit HourDetroit.com for details on Michigan’s auto industry history.