02 July 2009

Making a better car

The current post show of the GM sponsored Test Track pavilion is called Inside Track, and features innovative techniques and ideas about the future of the automobile, as well as a showcase of various GM models, though there are fewer models to gaze at these days as opposed to just a few years ago. Once upon a time the Test Track pavilion was known as World of Motion, and the post show included not only shows (The Water Engine and The Bird and the Robot), but also a showroom and an excess of futuristic exhibits and showcases. This post show was called TransCenter.Within the TransCenter, GM took everything that science assumed would be plausible within the field of automotive science, including available materials and methodologies, and combined that with possible governmental legislation and regulation and created the car of the future for a display. Shows like The Water Engine used animation as a vehicle to discuss the various types of engines that would be used in the future, while The Bird and the Robot was a platform designed to show of the strengths the robotic arms (similar to that of the Expo Robotics show in Communicore).Like many guests today, the guests of yesteryear simply looked upon the post show area as an obstacle on their way to the next attraction. Unlike today it was almost impossible to not stop and gawk at some of the concept models on display within TransCenter. Models such as the Aero Freighter, the interstate hauler of tomorrow, or the Hinge Car, a slim, fast, and friendly mode of transportation for the single individual, could stop a grown man in his tracks. Vehicles such as these, or the Chameleon, Safari Camino, or Hyper Ski, made the dreams of science fiction suddenly seem within our reach.TransCenter, as stated in Richard R. Beard’s Walt Disney’s EPCOT, would bring with it, “changing exhibits that incorporate new ideas as they come in from all over the world.” A lofty goal, but one that had it been realized, could have seen drastically different roadways than those we drive on today. Regardless of what modes of transportation have or have not come to pass in the past twenty-seven years, TransCenter, and the images and memories of its exhibits, still stands as a beacon to those who have a passion for getting to their destination in style.

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