Techno Car 2014 spotlights the future of the road

Techno Car 2014 spotlights the future of the road

Tel Aviv expo lets people test drive the tools of tomorrow's automobiles

Entrance to Techno Car 2014 (Photo credit: Gabriel Cohen)
Entrance to Techno Car 2014 (Photo credit: Gabriel Cohen)

The Techno Car 2014 auto technology show, which concluded Wednesday in Tel Aviv, hosted over 50 car accessory companies from Israel and abroad, offering everything from better defense for the car’s paint and body against scratches to improved diagnostic systems.

The semiannual event was held at Tel Aviv’s Convention Center, adjacent to Tel Aviv University, from May 19 to 21. The expo included 12,000 sq. m. of displays from “everyone with something to present, say, share, innovate and surprise in the auto world,” aimed at “those who want to see, hear, learn, and yes — even those who want to buy or sell,” according to a representative of the convention.

Pointer, a division of Israel-based Shagrir Systems Ltd., was at the convention marketing its Pointer IQ system, a system which, when installed in a car, alerts a fleet manager or other administrator if it is involved in an accident or other reckless driving incident. The system is “meant to save gas, save the car and be less expensive for the fleet,” said Kobi Kahlon, a representative of Pointer, who called the system “cutting edge.” The device includes GPS monitoring, uses RFID chips to identify who is driving a car and can score each driver based on their performance while driving. All data is retrievable by the administrator and stored for up to 18 months on Pointer’s network.

3M was on site offering a wide range of products for a car’s exterior. Launched in 2012, its Israeli branch had on display several products for do-it-yourself car repair, such as the Cubitron II polishing system. The Cubitron II can be mounted to a standard household drill, avoids damage to the car’s surface by not applying heat and is said to last up to five times longer than other systems, said Moshe Parhi, head of marketing and sales for 3M Israel’s car division.

Parhi demonstrated other 3M products, such as an adhesive plastic sheet to be applied to broken headlights, saving money on repairs; a strip of tape to protect car doors from denting other vehicles and being dented in tight parking spaces; and a material that comes as a liquid to fill in small nicks in a windshield, then hardens to complete the repair.

Paint Defender may be the most impressive product in 3M’s roster. The liquid can be applied to a car’s exterior and, once dry, will repel most minor wear and tear caused by the elements, other cars and birds. While similar to products offered by professional auto mechanics, Paint Defender is significantly less expensive and can be applied by the driver without the hassle of going to the mechanic.

Paint Defender faces competition from Nano Coatings. Nano offers a line of nano-technological liquids to protect a car’s entire structure — paintjob, windshield, steel, and upholstery. While 3M and Nano do cooperate in the production of the material and both market similar products, Nano’s offerings go beyond automobiles, covering stone, concrete and wood surfaces and defending against damage from the sun.

Parhi said 3M wasn’t worried. “To use Nano, you need a perfect finish: no scratches, no swirls, perfect.” He added that 3M offers a similar concoction that can be applied to an imperfect surface.

OKO, another company at the conference, offers a liquid tire sealant that can be stored inside the treads. The material initially seals any puncture immediately and is practically perfect after 1 km of driving. OKO was originally developed for the British Army in 1978, is the only NATO-endorsed tire sealant, and offers different formulas for different uses, including trucks, off-road and mining vehicles.

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