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Auto Show:  2012 Detroit Auto Show

Fun Activities - The Ford Booth: Detroit Auto Show

author photo by Nick Chambers January 2012
  • Ride in a full-motion driving simulator, get circled by a drifting Gymkhana car in an augmented reality video and learn about the future of connected mobility as you get raised 30 feet into a "cloud."
  • Grab a blue oval card and log your experiences while at the booth, then access your videos and pictures online later.
  • Expect long lines for some of the Ford activities, and get there early.

While other manufacturers have a spattering of fun activities at their 2012 Detroit Auto Show booths, Ford has offered up a smorgasbord for showgoers to enjoy. From a roof-raising ride technically considered a "roller coaster" by the State of Michigan, to a full-motion driving simulator, to a gigantic augmented reality screen that puts you right in the middle of drifting action, the Ford booth is sure to be the most popular at the show.

In order to access the videos and pictures of your Ford experience later, the first thing you'll want to do is pick up a Blue Oval card at any one of the kiosks set up around the area. After a quick registration process, you can then use the card by tapping on marked touchpoints to both start each activity and store personalized content for you to access online. The card is also useful for logging your votes in response to some of the interactive questions scattered about the area, and for marking which Ford products you want digital brochures of later.

Take a spin in the full-motion racing simulator with more than eight inches of vertical movement while it records video of your experience and then uploads it to the web for you to access with your Blue Oval card later on. It's one of the better racing simulators at the show, so it's definitely worth checking out.

Stand in the middle of a circle on the floor, and on the screen in front of you, watch a gigantic video of yourself being immersed in an augmented reality world where you are circled by a drifting Gymkhana car piloted by Ken Block. After a number of tire burning passes around you, Block gets out and cheers for you in your virtual world. Just as with the racing simulator, the entire experience is recorded for you to view later.

Perhaps the most sought-after attraction at the Ford booth will be the cloud experience, in which a dozen people are strapped into chairs arranged around a circular platform and lifted 30 feet into the "cloud" - a virtual environment set up in the roof of Cobo Hall. While in the cloud, riders are treated to an audio and visual tour through the connected mobility world of the future. Just before your immersion into the roof, don't forget to smile for a picture. Ford representatives expect this ride to have long lines, but the experience is worth it.

Other smaller activities abound at the Ford booth, including many stations where you can vote your mind on a number of transportation and technology topics, a map for you to log what region of the country or world you come from and a picture booth - all of which can be accessed online later with the Blue Oval card.

What it means to you: If you're looking for a fully immersive, fun and well-executed showgoing experience at the Detroit Auto Show, you can't go wrong at the Ford booth.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Fun Activities - The Ford Booth: Detroit Auto Show - Autotrader