Being an old automotive guy (I spent 10 years at Honda of America Mfg. prior to coming to EWI), I still like to keep my eye on the news coming out of that industry. I think for many of us, that first job out of college always holds a special spot in our heart (or nightmares). In my case, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Honda, and, as they say, when I left that job it “was all about me – nothing about them”. But I digress…
As part of keeping up with that industry, two articles in the last two days caught my eye. The first article, an editorial prominantly featured on msn.com and linked here, talks about what features cars will include in 20 years. The article does take me back when it talks about the predictions of Back to the Future, which say we’re supposed to all be in flying cars on skyways by 2015. Clearly that’s not going to happen (or will it).
At any rate, some of the project work EWI has done in the past several years figures to find its way into some of these predictions. As an example, we are actively working with a number of OEM’s and Tier 1 suppliers on a variety of battery attachment operations, and even work to support OSU’s Buckeye Bullet land speed record run. We also have performed significant internal R&D efforts studying the weldability of advanced high strength steels to be used in both light-weighting and crash-improvement efforts (copies of that work is still in limited-distribution to member companies, contact EWI member services for more information).
The second interesting article I read this week related to my old employer, Honda. Despite numerous rumors running around about the end of the proverbial road for the Honda Ridgeline, it appears the first Honda truck is sticking around (at least for a while longer). I think it’s pretty clear the target audience for this vehicle is suburban do-it-yourselfers who don’t want to rent a truck to carry a load of mulch or new dining room table. The good news (at least for Honda) is there are a lot of us suburban do-it-yourselfers who really like the product. Of course, after the length of time the model has been running, it sure could use a whole new extreme makeover (I’d love to see what Xzibit would do with it).
If y’all happen upon any interesting auto news, I’m always looking to stay in-touch. Please feel free to drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org (and, you know, at least let me know that SOMEONE read this). 🙂