The Los Angeles Auto Show is a premier vehicle showcase of the latest from automobile manufacturers. The 2018 LA Auto Show did not disappoint.
The LA Auto Show offered lots of new BMW’s for Bimmer-files (like myself) to take in this year. Lots and lots of beautiful Bimmers to gaze upon. They had everything from the BMW X7 debut, to the fan favorite, M5. I managed to get some video of the latest from BMW.
Walking through the LA Auto Show and into BMW mecca
The South Hall is where BMW made camp. Their area was huge and even had a competition ready BMW race car on a second floor overlooking the entire Hall. It was like walking through a corn row field filled with Bimmers. Really cool seeing the i8 too.
The BMW X7 debuts at the LA Auto Show
The new X7 is HUGE. It looks and feels bigger than an X5. The Bimmer sport ute resembles a Lincoln Navigator, but a whole lot nicer. Thinking that it would be much nicer to be driven around in this car than it would be to actually drive the behemoth around.
The BMW M5
The M5 is my all time favorite BMW. Not a fan of the red color but all the bells-n-whistles make up for a lack-luster shade. This is one of the ultimate “sleepers” right out of the box. Give me launch control and access to 600+/- horsepower and you’ll see a happy boy.
The LA Auto Show is a place for auto manufacturers to show off their latest duds. But for me it is where I can see the newest BMW’s. Come to the show for what ever reason you like: new cars, test rides, latest info, whatever! At the very least come and see lots of vehicle eye candy. It is a multi day event that should be experienced by anyone that is a car fan.
If innovative mobility solutions are more interesting, then check out my time at LA CoMotion last month.
LA CoMotion was a multi-day event in the downtown Los Angeles Arts District. The overarching theme of the event is mobility and making it easier and more affordable for people to access. The majority of solutions involve batteries and charging concepts. However, some other aspects of mobility were shown. Examples included a Formula E race car, underground waste management systems, and software that will enable vehicles to communicate with “smart city” grids and other vehicles on the road. LA CoMotion brought together the leaders in the mobility space to share ideas and see what others are developing around movement.
Concept of Shared Mobility
Shared mobility is a topic that is heard often and in great detail at LA CoMotion. And, it means different things to different groups of people. Some view this as an Uber or Lyft solution while others view this as vehicles that are not owned at all. This no vehicle ownership concept is shared, on-demand vehicles that people can “order” as needed. There certainly was a wide spectrum of ideas around mobility presented at LA CoMotion.
The concept of a “sharing society” goes back to the earliest of times with clothes, tools, monies, etc. being shared among family members and close knit groups. A more modern concept of shared mobility is public transportation – buses, light rail, subways, and trains. Sharing is about convenience, cost, and re-purposing, so shared mobility is not really a foreign concept coming from the historical sharing society perspective. However, LA CoMotion wasn’t just about high level mobility options. There were some displays that showed what the future looks like right now!
Exciting Mobility Vendors
ABB Formula E, the global, all electric, FIA sanctioned, open wheel racing series was represented at LA CoMotion. Dragon racing had a Formula E season 3 livery on-site at the event in the Arts District downtown Los Angeles. Formula E and all the teams involved are pushing battery technology and electric power unit development to the max racing in this world class series.
Not only are electric power units being developed for the racing world, but they are also being integrated into recreational life. Bosch is involved with lots of different facets of industry. So, it’s no surprise to see Bosch working with Raleigh, an industry leading bicycle manufacturer, to produce high-performance, electric powered mountain bikes. And, there is even an electric mountain bike race in Monterey, California at the Sea Otter Classic. Spencer Powlison of Velo News writes an account of his experience at the e-MTB race.
Electric bicycles were introduced to many attendees of the show this year. However, a speaker on one of the mobility panels mentioned that last year no electric scooter manufacturers were represented at LA CoMotion. In contrast, this year that is almost all the vendor booths that could be seen at the LACOMO18. Lime and Bird were two big scooter brands that were offering information and test rides.
Secondary Vendors Leading Mobility Innovation
It wasn’t just all about vehicles and hardware of the future at LA CoMotion. There was a company that focused on developing the software that would enable vehicles to communicate. Autonomy, a company based in the the United States and Romania, is focused on secure vehicle-to-vehicle communication as well as connecting with “smart cities” and smartphone apps. Smart cities incorporate things like traffic signal sensors along with road and lighting sensors. To quote their promotional material… “We are creating the blockchain network where self-driving cars can communicate with each other, with the road infrastructure and with your smartphone apps.”
Also, mobility can include the things that get in the way of vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Items like trash cans, dumpsters, and refuse collection vessels can clog up thoroughfares and prevent the efficient flow of traffic. Underground Refuse Systems has adopted trash management techniques long used in European cities. They use receptacles buried underground and specially modified trash collection vehicles to help lessen the eyesore of trash bins. This subsequently secures the receptacles from pilfering and speeds up collection times of trash routes. The receptacles are also “smart” and can let workers know when it is time to empty or if there is a problem with the trash receptacle. Future mobility solutions will look at concepts other than vehicles.
Future of Mobility is Electricity
Modern mobility will be driven by electric power units. This will be seen in public transport, cars and trucks, along with personal transportation modes like bicycles and scooters. These innovations will soon be seen in every day commutes as vehicle batteries and components evolve through things like Formula E and electric rally cars.
There was a long row of mobility vendors and sponsors at LA CoMotion 2018. Looking over the vendors at the conference, it certainly looks like electric scooters, bicycles, and skateboards will be in the forefront of shared mobility. As mobility options are explored and efforts like Formula E are pursued, a world of innovative options will be available. And, with incorporating ideas of efficient refuse management and seamless communication between moving objects, it will be amazing to see how future concepts will impact future mobility.
AutoClub Speedway in Fontana, CA is so much more than a 1-off NASCAR race. ACS is an event destination!
Motor Press Guild Event
I had the pleasure of touring the facility via another fantastic Motor Press Guild luncheon event. During the visit highlights were meeting key ACS staff, touring the awesome track facility, and taking a few hot laps around the 2-mile D-shape oval. The afternoon certainly turned into an event destination for me and was an experience that I’ll not soon forget.
Last year saw the first running of the Magic of Lights. It was a HUGE success and will take place again this year. The dates are November 16 through December 31, 2018. It is a must-see drive-thru visual event for the entire family. Experience holiday lights in a uniquely ACS way that you’ll think about all year long.
Are you an aspiring racing driver? Do you want to get world-class exposure and experience? Do you want to drive hot little rockets around a karting track? Well, Auto Club Speedway has all that covered right next to the main race track. ACS provides the go-kart track and time to up’n’coming race car drivers that want to hone their race-craft and strive to be their best.
And, if the Lights, the karting, all the awesome racing weren’t enough… AutoClub Speedway draws in some of the biggest acts for live concerts. ACS transforms into a music destination for various genres of musical entertainment.
Statistics are always a great way to put things into perspective. While riding around the track facility getting the tour and seeing some cool “behind-the-scenes,” it was hard to get a feel for the actual size of the place. It certainly felt big but seeing the next image will certainly put things into perspective. It absolutely shows how massive the AutoCLub Speedway campus actually is…
Come Visit ACS
AutoClub Speedway is a huge facility (it can hold 15 major sports’ stadiums) and so much more than a NASCAR race once per year. The awesome track facility provides the means for fans of racing to experience some levels of drag racing as well as world-class karting opportunities. And, to make it MORE of an event destination, come experience holiday lights or a concert delivered by a global artist. ACS is a place you want to come visit at some point in time for something spectacular!
Ever wonder what it was like to drive into AutoClub Speedway? Drive around the side of the track and then underneath the track to pop out inside the infield area. Or, take a lap on the track with a professional race car driver? It is a great drive in and on-track so check them out on my YouTube channel – driving inand partial hot-lap.
The Motor Press Guild has afforded me great motorsport opportunities along with meeting some really great people. Those are the two main reasons for me to officially join the auto journalists group at the first of this year. I encourage anyone that writes about cars to learn more about and join the Guild.
My start with the Motor Press Guild (MPG) began with one of my first Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race month after moving to SoCal. I had the pleasure of running into Ed Jenks at a press event held by DHL for the first ever Formula E race in Long Beach. (Me and Formula E really hit it off well… read about my FE SuperFan experience) Ed welcomed me with open arms into the world of motorsports journalism. That warm welcome kept MPG on my mind.
Ran into Ed again the next few years and also met Tom Stahler. Tom is an outspoken character that is very passionate about all racing that requires gas. I was determined to join MPG after spending a few outings with the two of them. After expressing my desire to join MPG both of them offered to be my “sponsor”. The MPG application requires 2 active MPG members to vouch for you and also requires at least 3 published automotive writing examples. Yes, joining the Guild is a little more than paying money and saying you want in.
MPG Member Perks
Along with special outings at automotive events, MPG has monthly lunch-n-learns. These events are fantastic for meeting other like-minded car people. And, the topic choices are very relevant to anyone in the automotive journalistic world. March 2018 MPG luncheon topic was freelancing in the automotive journalist’s world. The panel consisted of both freelancer journalists and the editors that hire them. April 2018 is going to be based on the “Infotainment” options that are ruling the dashboards of new cars. Both topics are on point for what I want to know about in the car world.
Many more learning, driving, and networking activities are planned for the rest of the year. I look forward to using my MPG membership to broaden my professional automotive writing exposure and meet more great car people. Joining the Motor Press Guild is certainly a worthwhile investment and something I really wish I had done earlier. Don’t hesitate and join the Guild if you have even a small interest in the automotive journalism profession.
As you are probably well aware… I have a huge affinity for motorsports and the cool stuff that surrounds it. And, as you may also be aware, I am a tech guy that makes a living helping others find solutions to digital needs. So, I have been thinking of ways to blend both worlds and came up with a solution. Use Printful and WooCommerce to make an online store.
A little background – for whatever reason, I have always felt that a passive income stream selling swag via the Internet would be a great path to venture down. Well, I’ve meandered down that moss covered path. I pulled together a WordPress website, acquired a domain name, and set up an e-commerce solution to sell t-shirts. Yes, it is in place and working now. (Look at the bottom of the post for deets)
Here is a step-by-step overview of the process with links so you can put together a solution similar to this if desired. Full disclosure, the links are affiliate links but they benefit you as much as me. For example, some of the links will get a free month of service for both you and me. If that doesn’t float your boat, then just head to the resource by typing in the main part of the link address and hitting “go”.
Steps to Get Started with WooCommerce and Printful
Register a domain name. Go to someplace like Hover, or GoDaddy, or your usual domain registrar. Get a name that describes what you want to sell but doesn’t make it too keyword stuffed.
Get some web hosting space so the new e-commerce website has a home. I use InMotionHosting because they have excellent support and provide fantastic up-times.
Register at Printful.com and configure an account to connect to the WooCommerce platform.
Create some products via Printful and push them to WooCommerce on the WordPress website.
Promote the store via some online ads on Facebook or Google.
Manage the website sales.
Enjoy the added income.
This is the video I watched that got me the biggest push for setting things up. Chris Lema is a guru in the digital world and a guy that knows his stuff. Besides, he likes smoking cigars.
My Printful.com Store with WooCommerce
Here is the store I started to sell motorsports related t-shirts to racing fans. It is called Cool Race Swag and I strongly encourage anyone that likes cars and racing to pay it a visit. You won’t be disappointed.
I highly encourage you to go down this same path if you want to do something like setting up a Printful account and creating an e-commerce store. Feel free to contact me if you start down the digital road and have questions. I’m happy to help!