Worldwide truck sales exceeded 16 millions units in 1997 and are forecast to make up half of all vehicle sales in North America in the next five years. The implications of these numbers are not lost on Ken Sohocki. Chief engineer of General Motors' all-new, full-size trucks, Sohocki and his team oversee the development and execution of the largest and most important program in the company's history. It kicks off this fall with the introduction of the 1999 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups, followed by a fleet of next-generation SUVs and heavy-duty pickups. Once fully rolled out, the program will consist of some 30 different models. To set a benchmark for the full-size pickup segment, Sohocki and his team aggressively pursued new technologies on all new designs, including novel use of hydroforming, reinforced reaction injection molding, and bused electrical center architecture. Thanks to the creativity of Sohocki's team, the Silverado and Sierra require 25% fewer parts per model and 15% less base engineering content.
If you see a hitchhiker along the road in Canada this summer, it may not be human. That’s because a robot is thumbing its way across our neighbor to the north as part of a collaborative research project by several Canadian universities.
Stanford University researchers have found a way to realize what’s been called the “Holy Grail” of battery-design research -- designing a pure lithium anode for lithium-based batteries. The design has great potential to provide unprecedented efficiency and performance in lithium-based batteries that could substantially drive down the cost of electric vehicles and solve the charging problems associated with smartphones.
Robots in films during the 2000s hit the big time; no longer are they the sidekicks of nerdy character actors. Robots we see on the big screen in recent years include Nicole Kidman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Eddie Murphy. Top star of the era, Will Smith, takes a spin as a robot investigator in I, Robot. Robots (or androids or cyborgs) are fully mainstream in the 2000s.
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