“Whether we’re talking about eco-friendly technologies, safety, or the connectivity of vehicles, we can achieve success if we collaborate to create new possibilities,” said Chung Kook Park, Executive Vice President, Performance Development Center, Hyundai Motor Group, and the SAE 2014 World Congress General Chair.
The theme for this year’s event is “intentionally ambiguous,” Park added, because it applies across the disciplines of the auto industry, including engineering, planning, sales, and administration. Each of these areas has the potential to create new possibilities within companies and industrywide “each and every day,” he said.
Indeed, Hyundai and Delphi, the Tier One Strategic Partner for the SAE 2014 World Congress, have collaborated together and with two universities on the “possibility” of an advanced gasoline-fueled engine that achieves diesel levels of efficiency and torque, with lower emissions and cost. (Read article at http://articles.sae.org/12823/.)
From an outsider’s perspective, the automotive industry may be seen as “slow and stodgy,” said Jeff Owens, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President for Delphi, commenting on what excites him about the industry today. “But if you’re in it and you’re in the technology space, [you’re] keeping the environment green, keeping the products providing cleaner and cleaner output, safer opportunities to drive on the highways…, and the connectivity. Those three things—safe, green, and connected—provide an enormous amount of challenge and an enormous amount of opportunity in the automotive industry.”
Staying connected with industry colleagues as well as important issues that may lie outside of one’s everyday responsibilities is why people should attend the SAE World Congress, according to Geoff Diamond, a Senior Planner in the Product Planning Group at Hyundai America Technical Center in Ann Arbor, MI.
“There’s a realm of opportunities there for people to peer-to-peer network, to meet other people in the industry that could help them understand perhaps a technical issue that they’ve been having in their own company,” he said. “Sometimes we get stuck in our bubble and working on our specific component or things like that from an engineering standpoint. It’s nice to get out there and see the full range of things that are happening in the industry.”
It’s an exciting time to be involved with the auto industry, Diamond said, especially with the quickening pace of development.
“That’s probably one of the biggest excitements for me, is to see how quickly the products are hitting the market as we have more and more connectivity in the vehicles, and powertrains are getting more and more advanced, and we’re downsizing, and we’re trying to get things right for the market to meet regulations, and things like that,” he shared. “We’re moving at a much quicker pace, and that’s always exciting, right? It keeps you on the seat of your pants [to see] what’s happening next.”
To find out what’s happening at the SAE World Congress, go to http://www.sae.org/congress/.