Mustang Parts
   Carrying Saleen wheels and Bullitt wheels.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

SAE Congress 2005: Photoblog

I went to the SAE Congress at Cobo Hall today, in Detroit. I took the digital camera and snapped a few photos.

Cobo Hall, surrounded by orange Posted by Hello

At 9:00 on the 12th, Bob Lutz gave a talk titled "The Lost Art of Fun". I was there, but I didn't take notes. There is a good Detroit News article here. (Unfortunately, my photo didn't come out, there was enough light for my digital point-and-shoot camera to focus.)

The thrust of Bob Lutz' talk was that automotive engineering should be fun, and that he products we build should be fun as well. Paraphrasing:
"Coming to work should be fun. As fun as dropping a crate motor into your project car in your garage".
Lutz also criticized the American development of engineers, saying that in Europe engineers always start as draftsmen. I don't disagree, although there is not much point in training a software engineer to draft engine blocks.
"U.S. auto engineers are at a distinct disadvantage from Asian engineers because of the way they're trained," Lutz said at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress at Cobo Center. "We are actually training our engineers to be managers, while the rest of the world trains them to be doers. We are deliberately avoiding hands-on engineers and ... we need to change that."
When asked, during the Q&A, if Lutz thought that NHTSA's desire to enforce speed limits was not the best use of its time, Lutz delicately pointed out that he has to be careful not to get in trouble with his answer (we know what he wanted to say).

Lutz also said that GM was committed to building affordable fun-to-drive vehicles, and pointed out the Cobalt SS, Saturn Sky (he accidentally said "vue", I think), and Pontiac Solstice as examples.

AVL had an amazing driving simulator set up, using an FCS Hexatech hydraulic platform. I signed up for a time slot early, and got a chance to do a lap. Think of a 3-screen version of Grand Tourismo, with force feedback and three dimensional acceleration. Wow. Posted by Hello

Up-armored HMMV at the Tardec display. This had ~3" thick laminated glass windows, and ~1" thick armor plating all around. Posted by Hello

Interior of the Cadillac STS SAE 100, with the mapping IP display.Posted by Hello

Ford Shelby GR1 Concept, at the Ford pavillion Posted by Hello

Dodge Charger RT Concept, at the Chrysler pavillion Posted by Hello


The Angry Engineer said...

I absolutely LOVED Lutz's comments - enough to write a very long blog spot on it.

The STS's IP is really cool, and I can't wait to see similar displays on production cars. I'd like something affordable wrapped around that supercharged LS2, also, but I'm not holding my breath for that.

The Angry Engineer said...

Um, that's supposed to read "blog entry" up above, not "blog spot". My editors regret the error.