Detroit auto show's app accesses world auto shows

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DETROIT -- Detroit auto show organizers today said they will promote a new app next month at the show.

The app, Auto Show Passport, will showcase auto shows from all over the world, said Rod Alberts, executive director of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

NAIAS launched Auto Show Passport about a month ago, Alberts said.

“People understand the global aspect of auto shows. It’s really just taking that to people all over the world,” Alberts said. “It’s not going to replace auto shows because you still want to kick the tires. This enhances the auto shows.”

The free app allows users to access photos of vehicles at most major auto shows around the world. It also includes photos from some high-profile auto-related events, such as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the Specialty Equipment Market Association show, Alberts said.

Another show, more photos

Alberts said every time fresh photos are available at an auto show, the photos will go on the app.

“There’ll be a gallery where you can click on cars on that show. There is another section where you can spin a globe and go to other shows by clicking on the map,” Alberts said. “And there’s a filter where you can look at, say, all green cars. It’ll take all the green cars out of any shows listed and show them.”

The app also has a virtual garage feature so users can put photos of their favorite cars into their garage to share with their friends, Alberts said.

While a user can access the Detroit auto show on Auto Show Passport, there is a separate app for the show called the NAIAS app. That app, launched last year, displays only the vehicles and information presented at the Detroit show, Alberts said.

Download upon arrival

Detroit auto show organizers hope to have people at the show doors to help attendees download the NAIAS and Auto Show Passport apps as they arrive, said Scott LaRiche, vice chairman of the show.

“We’re hoping that the downloads will go through the roof,” LaRiche said.

The Detroit show’s media days are Jan. 13-14. Industry days are Jan. 15-16, and the show is open to the public Jan. 18-26.

The Auto Show Passport app has about 3,000 photos. Alberts said he expects to add about 1,000 photos a year.

Openfield Creative, a Web design company in Cincinnati, created the app, Alberts said.

Auto Show Passport is available for Apple iPhones, iPads and Android phones. It is not yet available for Android tablets, Alberts said, but it will be.

“We have to make choices because each one has to be set up differently to fit the screen and different systems,” Alberts said. “We wanted Android because it’s a big deal in China.”

You can reach Jamie LaReau at jlareau@crain.com. -- Follow Jamie on Twitter


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