For journalists at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit on Monday, it was a perilously short weekend. Many, if not most, were in the desert just a couple days ago. It’s a sign of the times: CES in Las Vegas has suddenly become an auto show — arguably with the same level of clout and significance as NAIAS, a stalwart of the auto show circuit.

But make no mistake, these are evolving into very different kinds of auto shows. NAIAS is a pure car expo through and through; it's where Mercedes-Benz unveiled its redesigned C-Class this week, BMW is showing production versions of the iconic M3 and M4, and Ford has an all-new F-150 pickup, among countless others. CES, meanwhile, is where you’re marshaled into rural Nevada to see Jetsons-style technology on four wheels. “I just need you to sign here, give me your driver’s license, and we can get started,” car companies told me, one after the next, before taking me into the desert to get behind the wheel of something you can’t yet buy.

Basically, that's how my entire CES week went. While my co-workers were safe and sound in the confines of the Las Vegas Convention Center watching Michael Bay storm off stage, I was signing my life away to virtually every automaker I encountered before getting in a car that either drove itself, drifted itself, or flung me around a track with 460 horsepower under the hood.