Beth, I'm sure you are correct in that it's a great piece of marketing. The VW folks have recently blitzed the United States with very effective marketing; i.e. Super Bowl--adolescent Darth Vader, etc. and several others. They seem to know what we love to see. The technology to put this under water and drive the "shark cage" is interesting also. Little practical use but interesting.
The Discovery channel ran the commerical during Shark week. The speed at which the vehicle moves on the ocean floor wouldn't provide much of an escape from the shark, not to mention the large openings. I agree Charles, not protection from a Great White!
I love Shark-Week, (BTW, did I miss it, or is it still to be aired-?) and I'm a long time diver. Oh, and my first car was a '68 beetle -- so LOTS of connections to love about this story. But after looking it over, I was a little disappointed. I'd chalk it up to a publicity stunt, or just pure advertising --- good advertising at that --- but far short of any real engineering feat. Especially in light of last week's stories about Mars Curiosity. But just for fun, it offers a fun perception. Wonder what the Sharks thought about it-?
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.