The South and West halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center are chockablock with glitzy booths promoting the latest in automotive technology. It's all very serious business.
But here and there among the booths at the
Less high-tech, and less difficult, is a similar driving simulation at Hyundai. Drivers there were having less difficulty keeping on the track, but also looked a little bored.
You can also "drive" a Toyota FT-1 sports car, via a simulation video game that allows operators to choose from several world tracks or the streets of several cities.
Much more dramatic is the opportunity Ford will give you to race a Shelby Mustang GT350 -- on a track, outdoors, off the convention center's West Hall. But don't get excited. It's an remote-controlled version of the iconic racer. Operators can speed around a specially designed track and test their mettle against other drivers in other Ford race cars.
Down in the Aftermarket Hall, a lower-adrenaline kind of racing is going on.
There, the Razor company has set up a drifting track, fitted with cones, to test its new Crazy Cart, a 12-mph electric scooter-cart that, with the pull of a brake lever, can drift like a gymkhana machine. If that works out for you, try the Crazy Cart XL, which can go 17 mph and whizzes like a rocket.
Co-inventor Ali Kermani, who perfected the machine as part of his
In the non-motorized activity department, Kia was offering a downhill ski lesson on a simulator that electronically recreates Alpine slopes. And, nearby, in the Joshua Tree section, a man spent much of the day Wednesday rapelling up and down on a rope attached to the rafters. He wasn't offering rides, though.