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jmiller
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Re: Lighter autos
jmiller   9/30/2013 8:28:10 PM
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I think you bring up a good point. If you aren't innovating you will be headed towards "near death". I think it's key not to just reap rewards but keep innovating.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Lighter autos
Rob Spiegel   8/2/2013 7:33:03 PM
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Cabe, the industry is working to make materials lighter without sacrificing safety. The goal is to create materials that hold up as well in a collision as steel.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Lighter autos
Cabe Atwell   7/31/2013 7:18:00 PM
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I agree with the concept of using polymers will decrease emissions and will certainly help with fuel efficiency but what happens to safety standards when more and more parts are being manufactured using these types of plastic? 

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Lighter autos
Rob Spiegel   7/29/2013 10:18:56 AM
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I think until 2009, the auto industry could sell tons of cars without much innovation. That changed with the near-death expierence the auto industry experinced in 2009. Add to that the impending CAFE standards and you get forced innovation.

jmiller
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Platinum
Re: Lighter autos
jmiller   7/28/2013 3:55:47 PM
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I don't if it was lack of motivation or if it was lack of technology.  But I do agree that innovation has greatly increased in the automotive industry lately.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Lighter autos
Ann R. Thryft   7/12/2013 1:08:05 PM
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As I understand it, these engineering materials had often been developed for other applications but could be adapted without much hassle to the needs of cars, starting with the interiors and non-structural apps. I think it was, and is like we discuss in this article, more a matter of marrying the material with the app. Some of these materials have already been used in other vehicle apps like heavy trucks or airplanes.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Lighter autos
Rob Spiegel   7/11/2013 8:37:11 PM
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That's good to know, Ann, that the materials companies were producing new materials before industry demanded new materials. Sounds like the materials companies were acting proactively.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Lighter autos
Ann R. Thryft   7/11/2013 2:04:02 PM
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It's also true that materials suppliers, especially plastics companies, have had products that were at least potentially applicable to automobiles for several years before car companies began even considering the possibility of implementing them. But that's at least partly because trying to insert any new material or process into the incredibly complex, high-speed auto manufacturing line requires a lot of time and effort. It can't be done quickly.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Lighter autos
Rob Spiegel   7/11/2013 8:40:15 AM
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One thing I'm seeing in the auto industry is the role of the suppliers in technology development. Lear, for one, is developing entire drive chains for the hybrids and EVs of their customers. I asked a Lear engineer who owns the IP on this and he said it was Lear. That means a good percentage of the IP on some vehicles is not even owned by the carmaker.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Lighter autos
Rob Spiegel   7/8/2013 7:27:02 PM
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Jmiller, I agree that car companies are stepping out with innovation now. But I don't think they were being particularly innovative 10 or 15 years ago. Also, let's give a great deal of credit to the suppliers. In many cases, the car companies asked suppliers to come up with innovative solutions.

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