5 things to know about the New York International Auto Show

Cool cars, hot trends highlight massive event.

Lincoln Continental concept carLincoln Continental concept carThe new Lincoln Continental model is displayed during the New York International Auto Show at the Javits Center on April 1, 2015 in New York City. Lincoln retired the Continental name in 2002. (Photo: Kevin Hagen / Getty Images)

Why are auto shows so popular? It's pretty obvious: Shiny new models (of cars, folks... of cars), concept cars that give people a glance into the future and high-tech demonstrations are attractions that will interest not only the gearhead and techie but also drivers who just like to see the latest and greatest.

The New York International Auto Show starts Friday and runs through April 12 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on New York's west side. It is one of the largest auto shows in the world and attended by close to one million people annually. Here's a primer on what will be hot and interesting to see at the show, with a couple of factoids mixed in.

It's the oldest auto show in North America

first ever auto showAn image from the first New York Auto Show in 1900. (Photo: Encyclopedia Britannica)

The NYIAS started in 1900. According to MSN, even though there were fewer than 7,000 cars in the U.S. at the time, more than 10,000 people attended the show. It isn't the oldest car show in the world, though; the Paris Motor Show debuted in 1898. The show was previously held at the old Madison Square Garden, then the New York Coliseum. It's been at the Jacob J. Javits Convention Center since 1987.

A self-driving car drove to the show from San Francisco

Delphi self-driving carDelphi's self-driving Audi arrives in New York after a cross-country trip from San Francisco, the first of its kind for autonomous vehicles. (Photo: Delphi Automotive)

The car, engineered by Delphi, will drive, mostly without driver assistance, from California to the show in New York. Self-driving cars will be a big topic at the show. It's a technology with lots of players, including the Israeli company Mobileye which is helping Tesla with a driverless car.

The minivan was introduced in 1984

Plymouth VoyagerA 1984 Plymouth Voyager at the Chrysler Museum. Its counterpart, the Dodge Caravan, was introduced at that year's New York International Auto show, creating the category of the minivan. (Photo: harry_nl/Flickr)

Every soccer mom and dad will either love to hear this or curse this piece of information: at the 1984 show, Chrysler introduced the Dodge Caravan, a smaller version of a van built on a car chassis. The category of "minivan" was born and sales of the model have been going strong ever since.

Hyundai will introduce an 'extreme' pickup truck

Hyundai Santa CruzHyundai Motor America President and CEO David Zuchowski introduces the Hyunday Santa Cruz New York International Auto Show at the Javits Center on April 1, 2015 in New York City. (Photo: Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

Concept cars are always the most interesting part of the show. This year, they range from the exotic, like the Aston Martin Vulcan, to the completely practical, like the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle. One of the more intriguing concept cars this year, though, is the Hyundai Santa Cruz, "one of the cooler vehicles ever to be focus-grouped into existence," according to Car and Driver. It's a diesel-powered crossover vehicle married to a pickup truck bed. It's designed for "extreme" users who aren't towing anything but want a place to put their dirty equipment.

A Camaro is covered in 3D-printed art

Camaro 3d imageA Camaro covered in dyed 3D-printed images designed by artist Ioan Florea will appear at the New York International Auto Show. (Photo: Carpathian Art Studio)

Artist Ioan Florea covered a Camaro in colorful shapes he designed on computers and then printed using pigment-fused deposition and 3D printers. If you've ever wanted to create your own custom hood ornament, 3D printers will be available at the exhibit for visitors to use. You should also check out our primer on 3D printing.

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