The 44th Tokyo Motor Show
This car show is held in Tokyo once every two years. In the most recent one, there were 42 world debuts of either improved models of existing cars like the Prius, or else concept cars, some very futuristic. Though many of the manufacturers represented at this show were Japanese, there was a strong showing by Mercedes, Audi, Porsche, Peugeot and many other foreign manufacturers.
The show is held in the Tokyo Big Sight, a huge exhibition centre built on reclaimed land by Tokyo Bay. The entrance is below two inverted pyramids, with an artwork of a giant saw plunged into the ground outside (see photos). At least 90% of the visitors are male. I found it a bit weird that young girls (possibly college students) are still be found posing as models beside the cars, as males took photos of them. Haven’t we reached the 21st century now? Car shows seem stuck in a sexist past.
There were number of concept cars and bikes on show. The Mercedes ones were particularly impressive. Driverless cars were one of the new trends on show, including models by Nissan and Tesla. Once driverless cars are accepted, the interior of future cars will change to ones with ‘lounge seating’ in which passengers sit and interact on what looks like a regular living room sofa (see pictures below). Some of the driverless cars had no conventional controls: Nissan's Teatro for Dayz for example. It has no steering wheel or conventional pedals, has voice commands for most functions, and a dashboard that can display everything from navigation data to personalized artwork.
Despite the fact that I don’t have a car while I live in Tokyo – never need one, as the transportation system is so good and reliable – nevertheless this exhibition of gorgeously curved shiny metal and chrome was very inspiring. Most impressive ones? Probably the Mercedes concept cars.
As the average speed on Tokyo’s congested roads is a maximum 40 Km per hour during the daytime, even you became the owner of one of the sports cars on display here, you’d never be able to run it to its full potential. It’s the price we pay for living in such a congested city.