Krafcik to keynote Detroit auto show's AutoMobili-D expo

John Krafcik: “It’s clear that the Motor City will continue to play a pivotal role bringing together the best of what Detroit and Silicon Valley have to offer.” Photo credit: Glenn Triest

The Detroit auto show’s new AutoMobili-D exposition has its keynote speaker: John Krafcik, CEO of Google’s self-driving car project.

Krafcik is set to give a presentation on Sunday, Jan. 8, on the first day of AutoMobili-D. It runs until Thursday, Jan. 12.

“For the past century, Detroit has been at the center of the automobile,” said Krafcik, in a statement. “As we look toward the next phase of mobility, it’s clear that the Motor City will continue to play a pivotal role bringing together the best of what Detroit and Silicon Valley have to offer.”

In May, Google revealed plans to open a 53,000-square-foot r&d center in suburban Detroit for the company’s self-driving automotive technology.

The exposition figures to be the Detroit auto show’s answer to Las Vegas’ popular Consumer Electronics Show, which takes place the week prior.

CES has gained significance in recent years as cars and technology have become more intertwined. Automakers are increasingly using the event to break news. General Motors unveiled the Chevrolet Bolt at the 2016 CES, for example.

AutoMobili-D is set to take up 120,000 square feet in Cobo Center’s atrium and Hall E. More than 100 companies are expected to have a presence at AutoMobili-D including tech startups, suppliers and automakers.

“Tech companies, automakers, suppliers, industry partners and startups have all embraced AutoMobili-D and the global media platform our show provides,” Rod Alberts, executive director of the North American International Auto Show, said in a statement. “With the largest gathering of automotive and mobility professionals, NAIAS continues to serve as one of the most influential shows in the world.”

The press preview for the 2017 Detroit auto show is Jan. 9-10. The public show runs from Jan. 14-22.

Krafcik will also speak that week at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, which runs Jan. 10-11.

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