Cabe, a few years ago, Consumer Reports had a media day where they displayed electric cars, hybrids and other alternative power sources for autos. The biggest crowd of reporters -- by far -- was around a guy who had converted a single DeLorean from a gasoline- to a battery-powered drivetrain.
Awesome coverage. If I had the money I would buy a De Lorean. The body made out stainless steel (“Stains less”) would make for a better lifetime usage. Plus it is a classic, timeless body shape in my opinion. Anyone with one is sure to be a hit everywhere they go.
I don't know who keeps the concept cars. I just know it isn't me. A few years ago (okay, maybe more than a few years ago), I had the opportunity to drive a concept vehicle at a Pontiac longlead event, and I hit a speed bump a little too fast. I thought the engineer was going to throttle me. It might be my imagination, but I don't think they want to me to get close to the concept cars anymore.
The automakers do have some good technical innovations, tmash. Unfortunately, the Auto Show isn't a great place to do a deep technical dive. There were some pretty good innovations in engines, and we'll be covering those over the next couple of weeks for the engineers like yourself who are looking for a little more meat.
Have to agree. Concept vehicles used to be visionary (like the BMW "Gina"). Now they are pre-production advertisements for the marketing guys to gauge responses. If something is deemed 'ugly' or 'weird' then the vision is scrapped and the dull lines of the contemporary are used.
Where are the rocket cars, fusion powered autos, and the transforming vehicles? When gull wing doors on an SUV wow people, then we have not really seen anything new!
Actually, Al, I do have a technology that I thought was most interesting. This year, it's the engines. In the Silverado slide, you might note that I mentioned three new engines from GM (one of which is also in the Corvette). I think we'll be seeing a face-off between Ford and GM in this arena: Ford with its turbocharged EcoBoost engines and GM with its small block engines. The fuel efficiency numbers aren't in yet, but I find it interesting that the big automakers are investing in engine technology as we begin to glimpse the 54.5-mpg mandate on the horizon.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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.