The MobilityLA Auto Show
LOS ANGELES, CA. — The "City of the Angels" was only a glimmer in the eyes of the Spanish Empire's Conquistador interlopers who first set their sights upon this land in the 1500's and later in the 1700's. By the onset of the 1849er California Gold Rush, Los Angeles was a growing Mexican pueblo. (In fact, it was the largest farming community in all of southern California.) One hundred years later, during World War II (circa 1942 – 1945), L.A. was turning out high tech aircraft to fight the Japanese Empire. The local economy, augmented by oil, tourism, real estate and other industries, soon became the film capital of the world.
In 2016, Los Angeles remains the world's number one media market. The Los Angeles Rams NFL team recently returned to L.A. after a Super Bowl-winning stint in St. Louis, Mo. Beyond its well-deserved "Mecca of Media" label, L.A. is also known for its sunshine, pioneering of freeways and gleaming automobiles. No other city could be more intimately entwined with postmodern American culture and the urban commuter as defined by the southern California consumer experience.
Now a new era has dawned for the City of Angels. A bevvy of companies ranging from Intel to Ford to Booz Allen Hamilton have descended upon this globalized metropolis for the "MobilityLA" confab. For those privileged to attend, a plethora of erudite and visionary speakers are busy offering a glimmer of Los Angeles' automobile future.
Brian Cooley of CNET kicked off the show with a rousing and seminal presentation. Cooley explained the roots of the lexis "technology," which he said was "pre-electricity" and seeks to "explain the way that things are done."
Cooley added: "The great tech revolutions down through history made things more transparent and more intuitive."
Attendees were treated to Cooley's unique insights, including his explanation of data-driven intimacy, and how a torrent of 360 degree information is now available for those plugged into the emerging automotive–data matrix.
Cooley explained how the "Cars of the Future" are doing more and more. "The driver is the differentiator," he noted.
The cars we drive are an extension of ourselves. They define — in a way — our homes, our cities, even our attitudes. This has been the case since Henry Ford perfected the concept of the assembly line and mass produced the Model T. Electrification, connectivity and autonomy are the touch tones for consumers, and this has been the case in American culture for a long time.
Cooley mentioned studies by various companies and universities, including MIT, which point to the soon-to-come increase in the use of electric vehicles. By the year 2040 A.D. some cities might see 40% of the vehicles on the road powered by alternative and clean energy sources.
Drivers will "get connected" for purposes of communication, navigation and entertainment.
Cooley also cited Eric Schmidt of Google who was busy explaining only a few years ago how computer-controlled driverless cars were the wave of the future.
Certainly this Brave New World is meeting consumer resistance. Only 16% of American drivers are interested in a fully autonomous vehicle. Around 40% are partially interested. Around 45% have no interest in such cars. Those attitudes are going to be identified and deconstructed as the wizards of Silicon Valley, Detroit and Madison Avenue explain and implement their vision for the "Los Angeles of the Future."
Anthony C. LoBaido is a journalist, ghostwriter and photographer. He has worked in 53 nations around the world – from Laos to Lebanon, from Belize to Botswana and from Nepal to Namibia. He also published a book on the Kurds. Some of LoBaido’s favorite stories include attending the British Army’s jungle warfare training in Central America, retracing Lawrence of Arabia’s World War I trek through Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, investigating the blood diamonds of Sierra Leone as popularized in the Leonardo DiCaprio film by the same name, meeting “CNN hero” Aki Ra at one of his landmine digs in northern Cambodia, working with Time Magazine’s “Hero of Asia” Lek Chailert on her crusade to assist injured and abused elephants in Southeast Asia, rescuing HIV/Aids throw-away babies in the garbage dumps of Cape Town, South Africa, as well as visiting a leper colony in Myanmar. LoBaido’s articles have been cited by Ivy League universities such as Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania. As a photographer, LoBaido made National Geographic in 2014.
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