A Sneak Peek At New Technologies At The 2017 Auto Show

CHICAGO (CBS) – The Chicago Auto Show may not open to the public until Saturday, but CBS received a sneak preview of the show – including a vehicle with modifications that could save countless lives.

CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross has more on the vehicle and more highlights from the show.

Between the shimmering chrome, beyond where the sports cars roam, visitors can spot the bright lights of the Chicago Auto Show and some lights one may not expect to see.

Jeffrey Collins of MedEx is a paramedic, but on Thursday he showed CBS 2 a new high-tech vehicle.

The vehicle is used for first-response and is equipped with a ventilator, a cardiac monitor and has lots of space.

Collins showed CBS 2 a more spacious and modified first responder vehicle he calls one-of-a-kind in the area. The $500,000 ambulance specializes in the transportation of trauma patients including stoke victims, those suffering heart and lung problems and burn patients.

The vehicle is equipped with special software helping it to meet up with patients flown away by helicopter, who cannot land directly at hospitals.

The vehicle is to help cut transportation time down, allowing doctors more time to save lives.

The ambulance has yet to be put in the field. CBS 2 was told it will be released sometime by the end of 2017.

WBBM’s Bob Roberts also received a preview of the show and here is what he learned.

Fiat-Chrysler’s top designer said the car of tomorrow will be a quantum leap from what you drive today.

Speaking at previews for the 109th annual Chicago Auto Show, design chief Ralph Gilles said Thursday that cars will talk to you, but nothing like the way the souped-up Pontiac Trans-Am K.I.T.T. did to actor David Hasselhoff, as Michael Knight, on the 1980s television show “Knight Rider.”

That was science fiction. Gilles and his team of millennial designers foresee a car that not only talks, but also can change colors and will be designed to be a family social center.

“The inspiration came from homes, hotels, living rooms, spaces like that, places where you have social activity, social hubs,” he said. “The car’s driving itself down the road, so what do you do?”

Back-of-the-seat entertainment screens are popular now, but Gilles said they might be obsolete by then. Gilles noted that United Airlines has already begun phasing out similar screens on its jetliners because so many passengers bring their own media on-board.

Many millennials prefer public transportation to driving, but Gilles said he believes that autonomous, or driverless, cars will enable millions to take to the road who cannot today — even the blind.

Gilles does not see more traditional vehicles disappearing anytime soon, and expects a market to remain for cars steered by the driver, with manual gearshifts and big internal-combustion engines.

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