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Car design | 13.06.2014 - 12:25

The Auto Industry is Changing Fast Before Our Eyes Here’s How

Like any industry, the automotive world is always changing. Following are some new changes for the years to come that you may or may not have noticed. Biomimicry
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In truth, biomimicry has been around since some of the first sports cars were being designed. This is perhaps most notable with the Bill Thomas Cheetah, a racing car built by Chevrolet from 1963-1968. Taking note from the high shoulders and lowered front end of cheetahs as they ran, Bill Thomas designed an eponymous vehicle that mimicked the structure of the fastest animal on Earth.

            But the trend doesn’t end there — Dave Pinter published a Nov. 2013 article in PSFK entitled, “Car Designers Predict Biomimicry Will be the Main Concern for Future Automobiles.” What makes him think biomimcry will be taking the world by storm? Well, the prestigious LA Design Challenge recently asked studios to develop wide-ranging ideas for different vehicles following the prompt, “Biomimicry & Mobility 2025: Nature’s Answer to Human Challenges.”

            China’s SAIC (parent company of Roewe and MG brands) ultimtately won the competition with their entry — but the fact that arguably the most prestigious auto show in the world was sponsoring a competition based around biomimicry says a lot about it’s role in future automobile innovation.

Increased Fuel Economy

            In case you weren’t paying attention, the average fuel economy of new vehicles in the U.S. reached an all-time high in August 2013: 24.9 miles per gallon, according to researchers at the University of Michigan. That’s an increase of almost five miles per gallon since researchers started tracking these numbers in late 2007.

            This is a trend that’s only been bolstered recently with the fuel economy goals President Obama rolled out in August 2012, promising to improve fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 mpg for cars and light-duty trucks by Model Year 2025. What’s more, his recently laid out fuel efficiency standards for big trucks should be equally successful if they’re anything like the previous regulations.

            Although there’s no real way of knowing whether or not these fuel efficiency miracles will have the effects they’re proposed to, it’s certainly true that these new standards will have a tremendous effect on the auto industry in the years to come.

Women

            According to Catalyst.org, the percentage of women corporate officers in the Motor Vehicle and Parts Industry was 11.5% in 2005. Needless to say, this is something that undoubtedly needs improvement in 2014 and in the years to come. Everyone drives cars, so why should women be so outrageously disadvantaged when it comes to auto industry management positions?

            However, the fact that there is room for improvement on the gender diversity front surely isn’t the only reason the auto industry is projected to recruit more females into its ranks in the years to come. First, someone needs to set an example — could Mary Barra be that example? Replacing Dan Akerson as CEO of General Motors in January 2014, Barra’s appointment was a groundbreaking one. A woman with an engineering background, Barra brings a lot to the table in terms of cultural diversity, and it’s about time. Only time can tell if Barra will reign in an era of more women in the auto industry but for now, there’s no question that her appointment was a smart, socially aware, and laudable move by GM.

 

Written by Marc Laferierre, owner of Dents Unlimited. Dents Unlimited offers the best auto repair Columbia, MO has to offer, where their expert staff can get your car back on the road in no time.

 

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