Research was undertaken to determine design engineers’ driving habits and to
obtain their opinions about passenger vehicles in general. The study
specifically examines the following issues:
Current passenger vehicles driven and future selections
Importance of attributes and engineering features in future passenger
Opinions regarding safest passenger vehicles made
Subscribers views on dream cars, economy cars, value cars and luxury
Best engineered passenger vehicles in the U.S.
Improvement in quality/performance
Issues pertaining to safety, fuel efficiency and fuel
On May 6th, 1999, 2000 questionnaires were mailed to a random
selection of Design News subscribers. A quarter and a postage-paid,
self-addressed envelope were included with each questionnaire as a response
As of June 14th, a total of 506 completed surveys were returned,
representing a response rate of 25%. A sample of the survey can be found in the
Technical Appendices of this report.
Current Auto Trends - Make
Nearly 20% of Design News readers currently drive a passenger
vehicle manufactured by Ford. The next most mentioned maker of passenger
vehicles is Chevrolet. Twenty-one other vehicle makes were listed by 1% or
fewer respondents. For a complete list, see table 1-1 in the
Q1.a What is the make and year of passenger vehicle you drive now?
Current Auto Trends - Model
The passenger vehicle model Ford Taurus/Taurus SHO is currently driven by
3% of those surveyed. In addition to the models listed below, several other
models were listed by 1% or fewer respondents. For a complete list, see
table 1-1 in the appendices.
Q1.a/b What is the make/model and year of the passenger vehicle you drive
Future Auto Trends
Twenty-eight percent of respondents would buy a GM passenger vehicle if
they were buying today. Ford and Chrysler are the next most popular makes of
passenger vehicles, with 17% and 16% of respondents respectively choosing
Q2. If you were to buy a new passenger vehicle today, what would you buy?
Importance of Attributes
Sixty-eight percent of respondents rate reliability as the first, second
or third most important attribute for the next passenger vehicle they will
purchase. Price and safety round out the 3 most important attributes. The
least important attribute according to 52% of respondents is a sound
More often than not, with the purchase of a sports car comes the sacrifice of any sort of utility. In other words, you can forget about a large trunk, extra seats for the kids, and more importantly driving in snowy (or inclement) weather. But what if there was a vehicle that offered the best of both worlds; great handling and practicality?
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
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