Silicon Valley Auto Show opens Thursday in San Jose

Final preparations were underway Wednesday night for the start of the annual Silicon Valley Auto Show. But mixed in with the sea of shiny new vehicles are displays that could herald the future path of the automotive industry.

The road to tomorrow for these San Jose State, student-created cars, begins on the back of a truck. Six vehicles – from internal combustion to electric – are headed to the 2018 Silicon Valley Auto Show..

“It’s nice to see that our school is being showcased. And all the work that we do is being shown to the community around us,” said senior mechanical engineering student Albert Bernas, as he watched his Formula-1 styled racer loaded for transport.

A mile away and about an hour later, the last of the Spartan Race team cars is rolled into the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. From Thursday through Sunday, 30 manufactures will showcase the latest in the automotive industry, from the cutting edge Corvette SR-1, to hybrids to SUVs..

“We’re seeing a lot of trends in the industry. A lot of cross-over vehicles are popular. Alternative fuel vehicles, fuel efficiency,” said auto show spokeswoman DeeDee Taft.

Parked outside the main hall, and near the Bently, sits the San Jose State display..

“We are the next generation of automotive engineers,” said sophomore mechanical engineering student Adraine Almiranez.

His racer is all-electric, and can go zero-to-60 in three seconds..

“I hope to show them the opportunities we have at San Jose state. Most people don’t know about our sae program, and there’s a lot to learn here, especially with electric cars rising up in the market. It would be a great way to learn and move into the industry,” said Almiranez.

San Jose State mechanical engineering professor Fred Barez says building and showcasing these cars creates a path to professional success..

“I’m motivated to pursue my students in that direction and also I’m here to recruit my students to our program so we can show them the future and the path to success in the area of (the) auto industry,” said Dr. Barez.

So the gleam that catches the attention of show attendees could pale in comparison with the prideful beam coming from one college race team, ready to pull into the car design lead..

“who knows, they may have the next future car design right here,” said DeeDee Taft.

The 2018 Silicon Valley Auto Show opens Thursday at 10 a.m. and wraps up Sunday at 6 p.m.