PDT an Astronics Company: Product Design and Development Firm in Chicago, IL


It’s not always about design, technology, or power. Sometimes it’s about how you feel or what you can do.



(approximately) of the U.S. population participated in outdoor recreation at least once in 2018, including hunting, hiking, camping, fishing, canoeing, among many more outdoor activities.

bravo, subaru

Subaru’s booth wins for best immersive experience. Walking through their space felt like a nature adventure and was always full of visitors. Subaru successfully communicated that their vehicles will deliver on an experience and that their brand goes beyond vehicles to being an important part of the community at large. Nicely done.

To date, Subaru has contributed $68 million to the national parks for preservation efforts.

Subaru educated visitors on their commitment to the Earth, highlighting that their products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants, and that they have the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation (Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc.)

The Forester had a program about planting trees detroyed in CA fires


Subaru hosted live pet adoption opportunities in their booth for local Chicago rescues.

brands selling the outdoor experience

A demonstration of how the 360 degree view can be used to navigate off-road hills. We also vote to see a simulation of Chicago streets after a good winter!


all wheel drive

Is this shown in Chicago b/c Chicagoans are more likely to use AWD than Californians?



Kia K900 AWD


Nissan Altima

Toyota Camry & Avalon AWD “Coming Soon

children are

more likely to buy a particular brand of automobile if their parents bought that brand.



Can new vehicles support the creativity of drivers from the past?


Anyone assembling the leather for Lexus had to pass an origami test in order to prove they had the craftsman skills necessary.





Anyone assembling the leather for Lexus had to pass an origami test in order to prove they had the craftsman skills necessary.


Hand crafted goods can have some variation and ‘flaws’ that are celebrated for thier character. Rather than perfectly even colorations and perfectly spaced stiches, hand crafted work can stand up to the most discerning customer because variation makes it unique, thus adding value.

People want to feel a connection. Whether it’s hand-sewn leather or a tech-enabled artifical intelligence experience,  interaction that feels ‘human’ creates a feeling of loyalty that people crave- and that pays off in brand loyalty.





Experiences tend to stick with us more than just reading or looking. Auto manufacturers took note.

experience without driving


the future

What will future booths look like at the Auto Shows?

Rideshare booths with co-branded EVs?

Electric conversion from combustible options?

Autonomous module concepts?


Interestingly, the most novel, boundary-pushing technologies and concepts were shown at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). So will the auto show’s focus shift more toward pulling on our emotions, memories and practical needs?


If you missed our 2020 CES Report, click here.




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