See cool new car tech at the 2017 DC auto show

The 2017 Honda Clarity fuel-cell vehicle is hydrogen-powered. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The 2017 Honda Clarity fuel-cell vehicle is hydrogen-powered. (WTOP/John Aaron)

The 2017 Honda Clarity fuel-cell vehicle is hydrogen-powered. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The 2017 Honda Clarity fuel-cell vehicle is hydrogen-powered. (WTOP/John Aaron)

The Honda Ridgeline pickup, with its in-bed trunk, is back. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Honda Ridgeline pickup, with its in-bed trunk, is back. (WTOP/John Aaron)

The Honda Ridgeline pickup, with its in-bed trunk, is back. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Honda Ridgeline pickup, with its in-bed trunk, is back. (WTOP/John Aaron)

The Mazda MX-5 Miata RF (for retractable fastback). The center section of the roof retracts into the back. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Mazda MX-5 Miata RF (for retractable fastback). The center section of the roof retracts into the back. (WTOP/John Aaron)

Custom Kia Sorento "ski gondola," a self-driving car concept where the front and rear seats face each other. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Custom Kia Sorento “ski gondola,” a self-driving car concept where the front and rear seats face each other. (WTOP/John Aaron)

Custom Kia Sorento "ski gondola," a self-driving car concept where the front and rear seats face each other. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Custom Kia Sorento “ski gondola,” a self-driving car concept where the front and rear seats face each other. (WTOP/John Aaron)

Backwards-facing front seats in the Kia Soul First Class, a concept for a self-driving car. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Backwards-facing front seats in the Kia Soul First Class, a concept for a self-driving car. (WTOP/John Aaron)

Backwards-facing front seats in the Kia Soul First Class, a concept for a self-driving car. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Backwards-facing front seats in the Kia Soul First Class, a concept for a self-driving car. (WTOP/John Aaron)

Backwards-facing front seats in the Kia Soul First Class, a concept for a self-driving car. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Backwards-facing front seats in the Kia Soul First Class, a concept for a self-driving car. (WTOP/John Aaron)

The VW Golf Alltrack, the golf wagon gets beefed up, a la the Suburu Outback. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The VW Golf Alltrack, the golf wagon gets beefed up, a la the Subaru Outback. (WTOP/John Aaron)

VW's new large SUV, the 2018 Atlas will be available in the spring. (WTOP/John Aaron)
VW’s new large SUV, the 2018 Atlas will be available in the spring. (WTOP/John Aaron)

The VW Golf R: 292 horsepower, all-wheel drive, manual transmission. Cost: $40,000. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The VW Golf R: 292 horsepower, all-wheel drive, manual transmission. Cost: $40,000. (WTOP/John Aaron)

The Cadillac ATS-V, striking in "velocity red." Price is $78,935 as shown. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Cadillac ATS-V, striking in “velocity red.” Price is $78,935 as shown. (WTOP/John Aaron)

Ultra-luxury: The Mercedes-Maybach S560 Cabriolet. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Ultraluxury: The Mercedes-Maybach S560 Cabriolet. (WTOP/John Aaron)

The Mercedes AMG GT will probably grab some attention, too. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Mercedes AMG GT will probably grab some attention, too. (WTOP/John Aaron)

The 2018 Lexus LC 500h. Rear-while drive, 347 horsepower, hybrid coupe. Pricing still TBA. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The 2018 Lexus LC 500h. Rear-while drive, 347 horsepower, hybrid coupe. Pricing still TBA. (WTOP/John Aaron)

The BMW M4 convertible. Cost: $76,000. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The BMW M4 convertible. Cost: $76,000. (WTOP/John Aaron)

The Porsche 911 Targa 4S. Price tag: $151,520. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Porsche 911 Targa 4S. Price tag: $151,520. (WTOP/John Aaron)

The Porsche 911 Targa 4S. Price tag: $151,520. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Porsche 911 Targa 4S. Price tag: $151,520. (WTOP/John Aaron)

The rear of the Porsche 911 Targa 4S. Price tag: $151,520. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The rear of the Porsche 911 Targa 4S. Price tag: $151,520. (WTOP/John Aaron)

Back again -- the Range Rover Evoque convertible. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Audi R8 Spyder. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Audi R8 Spyder. (WTOP/John Aaron)

The Chevy Colorado zh2, a joint project between GM and the Army. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Chevy Colorado zh2, a joint project between GM and the Army. (WTOP/John Aaron)

The new 2018 Toyota Camry -- this one is a hybrid. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The new 2018 Toyota Camry — this one is a hybrid. (WTOP/John Aaron)

Toyota showing off a specially modified Sienna minivan -- the "swagger wagon." (WTOP/John Aaron)
Toyota showing off a specially modified Sienna minivan — the “swagger wagon.” (WTOP/John Aaron)

The Ford Mustang revised for 2018. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Ford Mustang revised for 2018. (WTOP/John Aaron)

The 2018 Chevy Equinox. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The 2018 Chevy Equinox. (WTOP/John Aaron)

Fiat's new Miata-based roadster in Abarth trim. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Fiat’s new Miata-based roadster in Abarth trim. (WTOP/John Aaron)

Another eye-catcher -- the Jeep Wrangler Sahara in "firecracker red." (WTOP/John Aarron)
Another eye-catcher — the Jeep Wrangler Sahara in “firecracker red.” (WTOP/John Aarron)

Jeep's new-for-2017 Compass. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Jeep’s new-for-2017 Compass. (WTOP/John Aaron)

The Chevy Bolt EV, which went on sale in the D.C. area in December, boasts 240 miles of range -- classified as a crossover. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Chevy Bolt EV, which went on sale in the D.C. area in December, boasts 240 miles of range — classified as a crossover. (WTOP/John Aaron)

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The 2017 Honda Clarity fuel-cell vehicle is hydrogen-powered. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The 2017 Honda Clarity fuel-cell vehicle is hydrogen-powered. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Honda Ridgeline pickup, with its in-bed trunk, is back. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Honda Ridgeline pickup, with its in-bed trunk, is back. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Mazda MX-5 Miata RF (for retractable fastback). The center section of the roof retracts into the back. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Custom Kia Sorento "ski gondola," a self-driving car concept where the front and rear seats face each other. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Custom Kia Sorento "ski gondola," a self-driving car concept where the front and rear seats face each other. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Backwards-facing front seats in the Kia Soul First Class, a concept for a self-driving car. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Backwards-facing front seats in the Kia Soul First Class, a concept for a self-driving car. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Backwards-facing front seats in the Kia Soul First Class, a concept for a self-driving car. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The VW Golf Alltrack, the golf wagon gets beefed up, a la the Suburu Outback. (WTOP/John Aaron)
VW's new large SUV, the 2018 Atlas will be available in the spring. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The VW Golf R: 292 horsepower, all-wheel drive, manual transmission. Cost: $40,000. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Cadillac ATS-V, striking in "velocity red." Price is $78,935 as shown. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Ultra-luxury: The Mercedes-Maybach S560 Cabriolet. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Mercedes AMG GT will probably grab some attention, too. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The 2018 Lexus LC 500h. Rear-while drive, 347 horsepower, hybrid coupe. Pricing still TBA. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The BMW M4 convertible. Cost: $76,000. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Porsche 911 Targa 4S. Price tag: $151,520. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Porsche 911 Targa 4S. Price tag: $151,520. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The rear of the Porsche 911 Targa 4S. Price tag: $151,520. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Audi R8 Spyder. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Chevy Colorado zh2, a joint project between GM and the Army. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The new 2018 Toyota Camry -- this one is a hybrid. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Toyota showing off a specially modified Sienna minivan -- the "swagger wagon." (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Ford Mustang revised for 2018. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The 2018 Chevy Equinox. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Fiat's new Miata-based roadster in Abarth trim. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Another eye-catcher -- the Jeep Wrangler Sahara in "firecracker red." (WTOP/John Aarron)
Jeep's new-for-2017 Compass. (WTOP/John Aaron)
The Chevy Bolt EV, which went on sale in the D.C. area in December, boasts 240 miles of range -- classified as a crossover. (WTOP/John Aaron)

WASHINGTON — The 2017 Washington Auto Show is underway at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, featuring 600 new models from three dozen manufacturers, along with the usual array of concept vehicles, celebrity appearances and special events.

“I think auto shows are probably the best place to go to shop for a car because you don’t have the pressure of a salesperson, you get to see every kind of vehicle that’s available,” said Autotrader senior analyst Michelle Krebs. “Cars have gotten so good, you’re not going to get a lemon and so it’s all about, ‘How does it fit you?’”

Visitors can also see how well the latest car technology fits their needs.

“I think one of the big things that consumers at this show might want to look at is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto,” Krebs says. Those systems allow more seamless integration of a smartphone with a car’s dash display, allowing a driver to do things like pull up the phone’s map function rather than use a built-in navigation system.

“This technology is based on the fact that our consumers were saying: ‘I like using my map on my phone. How can I bring that into the car?’” said Joe LaMuraglia, communications manager for Chevrolet.

Drivers can also use the systems to call up a digital assistant like Siri by pressing a button on a steering wheel or to hear and respond to text messages with voice commands. “The idea is hands on the wheel, eyes on the road,” LaMuraglia said.

Additionally, he touted technology that can keep track of the driving habits of teenagers and allow parents to see a report of the teen’s driving behavior. Parents can also do things like limit the maximum allowable volume of the stereo, set a maximum speed for the car and have the car emit a warning noise when a certain speed has been reached.

A separate technology reminds drivers to check the back seat if a rear door had been opened and closed earlier, aimed at preventing children from being accidentally left in the back seat.

Aside from the wide range of new cars and technology, the show once again features the “hands-on” contest, in which competitors must stay in close contact with a new car over multiple days in order to get a chance to win it. Special guests making appearances include Redskins tight end Jordan Reed, Nationals shortstop Trea Turner and professional wrestler Randy Orton.

Admission is $12 for adults, $5 for kids between the ages of six and 12, and free for kids five and under. Military members and veterans get in free on Tuesday, Jan. 31. The show opens to the public on Friday, Jan. 27 and runs through Sunday Feb. 5. Find more information on the auto show website.

 

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