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LA Auto Show Features Hi-Tech and Fuel Efficiency

Gracie Zheng |
November 18, 2011 | 1:06 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter

The LA Auto Show, which is open to the public Friday, Nov. 18, through Thanksgiving weekend, unveils a new wave of futuristic automotive technologies featuring improved performance along with decreased carbon emissions. 

New technology developments at the show are expected from Audi, Cadillac, Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota among others. Technology to look for includes advanced application of Bluetooth, radar sensors, embedded telephony and cloud computing. 

Driverless vehicles and autonomous driving systems are emerging further from the realm of mere theories. Volkswagen is testing a system that will allow a car to navigate itself through a parking structure, find a parking spot, and exit the structure on its own to meet the owner at the entrance. 

According to the Consumer Electronics Association, overall sales of in-vehicle technology is expected to climb from $9.1 billion in 2010 to $9.3 billion in 2011, which is 12 percent higher than 2009.

Fuel efficiency comes standard at the show with more than 70 new green vehicles on display. 

In this time of rising gas prices and concern over the economy, almost every automaker offers a solution to make vehicles run cleaner and use less fuel. The number of autos on display using some form of electrification grew more than 25 percent from the last show. Cars that achieve 40-plus miles per gallon using traditional gasoline or clean diesel have doubled. 

Green Car Journal named Honda Civic Natural Gas the 2012 Green Car of the Year at the show Thursday morning from five finalists including the Ford Focus Electric, Mitsubishi i, Toyota Prius v and Volkswagen Passat TDI.

Honda Civic Natural Gas runs on a clean fuel that is domestically sourced and priced about 30 percent less than gasoline. 

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