SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 39, September 27, 2012

SEMA Vehicle Technology Center—Resources to Capitalize on Today's Vehicle Technology

SEMA News—September 2012

EVENTS

Go to the Gemba

SEMA’s Vehicle Technology Center

    Tanner Foust, driver of this Ford Fiesta Global RallyCross car, will headline the Racing and Performance Forum panel session at this year’s Technology Briefing Seminar
   

Tanner Foust, driver of this Ford Fiesta Global RallyCross car, will headline the Racing and Performance Forum panel session at this year’s Technology Briefing Seminar (TBS) program during the 2012 SEMA Show. Courtesy of QBA/ERC24.com

One of the central principles of lean customization is the Japanese term Genchi Genbutsu, which means “go and see.” To truly understand new business opportunities and the impact vehicle technology is having on automotive specialty-equipment products, you need to Go to the Gemba—the place where value and meaning are created.

“In today’s race to innovate, you cannot Google the answers you need,” said John Waraniak, SEMA’s vice president of vehicle technology. “All meaning is created offline in the real world, not the online virtual world. If you really want to know what’s going on, you need to get out there on the front lines and learn firsthand how advanced and disruptive vehicle technology is impacting your business and creating new opportunities for growth.”

Technology constantly creates changes to vehicles and, consequently, to specialty-equipment businesses. SEMA members can learn about the disruptive nature of the latest technologies and how to protect their businesses in the face of technological change.

The purpose of SEMA’s Vehicle Technology Center (VTC) and the accompanying Technology Briefing Seminar (TBS) program is to educate SEMA members and to introduce them to the programs, resources, partners, solutions and benefits available to them at affordable costs.

The objective is to connect members to the benefits of SEMA-developed vehicle technology solutions and partnerships and help them to understand the impact on their businesses today as well as to prepare them to compete and leverage tomorrow’s technologies and business opportunities.

     
   

The purpose of SEMA’s Vehicle Technology Center (VTC) and the accompanying Technology Briefing Seminar (TBS) program is to educate SEMA members and to introduce them to the programs, resources, partners, solutions and benefits available to them at affordable costs.

     

Advanced vehicle technologies are integral to both the relevance and the future of the performance aftermarket as well as the original-equipment manufacturers. From suspension to powertrains and from safety to infotainment, vehicle technology is central to business survival and the growth of the automotive specialty-equipment industry.

SEMA’s vehicle technology programs and partnerships are designed to provide members with relevant information, knowledge and solutions to help them compete today and prepare for tomorrow. The VTC provides members with valuable resources, and the Technology Briefing Seminars are must-attend education sessions for serious technology enthusiasts and performance professionals committed to developing technology roadmaps and business plans focused on future-proofing their survival and growth.

The automotive specialty-equipment industry has been and will always be challenged by complex vehicle technologies, federal regulations, systems integration and safety considerations. SEMA is continually working to provide unique benefits and value to members by developing vehicle technology solutions and building relationships that foster collaboration between automakers, suppliers, retailers, research organizations, industry associations and member companies.

Vehicle Technology Center Theater Keynotes and Forums

    GoPro’s 2011 SEMA exhibit featured the Monster Tajima vehicle that won Pike’s Peak.
   

GoPro’s 2011 SEMA exhibit featured the Monster Tajima vehicle that won Pike’s Peak.

The VTC will be located in the Grand Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center at the 2012 SEMA Show. The VTC and TBS program are designed around four megatrends: Driving Green, Driving Connected, Driving Safe and Driving Cool.

Two vehicle technology keynotes and four forum panel sessions will be held in the VTC Theater. The sessions will focus on the performance dynamics of aftermarket-modified vehicles, racing and performance, connected-vehicle technologies, the future of performance and customization and the race to innovation. The Center’s exhibit space and vehicles will highlight vehicle technology simulations, demonstrations and workshops throughout the week from SEMA partners that include A2Mac1, Auto Harvest, CarSim, dSPACE and Link Engineering.

The VTC and its four tech zones are designed to be relevant to today’s enthusiasts as well as to appeal to tomorrow’s next generation of performance and technology enthusiasts by bringing greater focus to current and emerging aftermarket opportunities. The TBS program provides members with in-depth information, networking opportunities and hands-on demonstrations with leading industry experts to help attendees understand the impact on their businesses today as well as to prepare them with the knowledge and information to leverage tomorrow’s technologies and business opportunities.

Vehicle Dynamics Forum

    GoPro’s 2011 SEMA exhibit featured the Monster Tajima vehicle that won Pike’s Peak.
   

Nick Woodman, founder and CEO of GoPro, will be a featured speaker during the Racing and Performance Keynote session. GoPro’s success in establishing its products as the world’s most versatile cameras has established “GoPro It” as a new phrase in the lexicon of performance enthusiasts from motorsports to action sports.

The first of the forum panel sessions, the Vehicle Dynamics Forum, is scheduled for Monday, October 29 (the day before the SEMA Show officially opens) from 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. in the VTC Theatre. The panelists for this session will include Jim Hollowell, Chrysler Vehicle Dynamics; SEMA Advisor Ed Browalski; Tom Gillespie of Mechanical Simulation; Jim Lau from VBOX; Santhosh Jogi of dSPACE; Terry Ledwidge from Link Engineering; Mandar Hazare with Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR); and Jim Popio from Smithers Rapra.

September 1, 2012, marked the date requiring aftermarket companies to comply with the U.S. Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 126 for Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems. ESC monitors vehicle motion. When loss of driver control is imminent, ESC strategically applies the brakes to help stabilize the vehicle. Similar requirements for the rest of the global automotive community are contained in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe 13H regulations.

SEMA’s Vehicle Dynamics Program and participating member companies have made significant achievements over the past five years in understanding how performance products, such as suspension, brakes, wheels, tires and steering as well as engine modifications, interact with ESC and other active safety systems. SEMA members are invited to attend the Vehicle Dynamics Forum presentations, demonstrations and solutions regarding FMVSS 126 and learn firsthand from the experts about the ESC performance of aftermarket-modified vehicles.

The hardware-in-the-loop technology available to members is the same as that used by all OEMs and major suppliers around the world to develop, test and simulate vehicle dynamics, new chassis system components, engines, powertrains, drivelines, suspensions and vehicle electronic control systems. The collaborative approach developed by SEMA has minimized costs while establishing unique capabilities for members that want to know the impact of their products on vehicle dynamics and ESC performance.

Racing and Performance Keynote

    DENSO has been working on vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) technology and dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) devices such as this Aftermarket V2X In-Vehicle Communications-Positioning-Computing Module.
   

DENSO has been working on vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) technology and dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) devices such as this Aftermarket V2X In-Vehicle Communications-Positioning-Computing Module. The module exchanges data with other vehicle DSRC transceivers and roadside “hotspots” to help reduce the likelihood of collisions. DENSO is incorporating DSRC devices inside new vehicles and exploring dealer installations and aftermarket equipment options that will be discussed at the SEMA Show.

     

The Racing and Performance Keynote, to be presented on the opening day of the SEMA Show, Tuesday, October 30, from 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m., will feature Nick Woodman, founder and CEO of GoPro.

SEMA’s roots are embedded in racing and the performance aftermarket. Racing and the performance lifestyle are critical to continued relevance and innovation within the SEMA community for both longtime members as well as new companies, such as GoPro. SEMA has played a major role in GoPro’s success in establishing its products as the world’s most versatile cameras, and the term “GoPro It” has become a new phrase in the lexicon of performance enthusiasts from motorsports to action sports. Attendees can expect Woodman—a racer himself—to elaborate on how he and his team created a new product segment that defines and motivates the culture of motorsports and performance enthusiasts and how their modular upgrades encourage people to buy deeper into the GoPro system.

Leading companies such as GoPro think of their products as the content, with the design, marketing, branding and social packaging as the context. GoPro owns 90% of the rugged-camera market and sold more than 800,000 cameras last year to users who then uploaded videos to YouTube once every two and a half minutes. What GoPro understands better than its competitors and many other companies is that a customer showing off what he did with his GoPro Hero camera on YouTube is far more valuable than a clip of him talking about his camera.

“Your company’s ability to deliver a superior, personalized customer experience will set you apart from your competitors, inspire fans and advocates and drive spending on your products or services,” Waraniak said. “Customers buy your stuff but, more importantly, they buy what your stuff does for them. You need to sell the benefits of your products and services to your fans and enthusiasts. Scott Bowers at Oakley calls it purpose beyond reason—where art and science collide.”

Racing and Performance Forum

    Google’s autonomous vehicles have been cruising the streets and highways of the San Francisco Bay Area for the past two years and have logged more than 250,000 miles.
   

Google’s autonomous vehicles have been cruising the streets and highways of the San Francisco Bay Area for the past two years and have logged more than 250,000 miles. The goal isn’t to eliminate human driving but rather to make it safer.

     

The Racing and Performance Forum panel session will be held on opening day, Tuesday, October 30, from 1:00 p.m.– 3:00 p.m. in the VTC Theater. Speakers will include Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing; Jim Campbell, leader of General Motors Performance Vehicles and Motorsports; Ralph Gilles, head of Chrysler Design and the SRT Group; and Brian Gale, co-founder of Global RallyCross. Professional racing driver, stunt driver and television host Tanner Foust will headline the panel. An executive and a driver from NASCAR will also participate in this exciting forum focused on today’s challenges and the future of racing and performance.

What will be the impact of advanced technologies and tighter federal emissions and fuel-efficiency standards on the racing and performance market today and in the near future? Is Gen Y’s lack of interest in cars affecting racing and performance? Does winning on Sunday still translate to selling on Monday? This session will explore these questions and trends as well as how leading automakers are focusing on matching horsepower with the fastest computing power and supporting existing series, such as NASCAR, and new series, such as Global Rallycross (GRC).

GRC connects with the urban, metropolitan and youth-orientated approach of ESPN’s X Games. The fusing of GRC and X Games has been a catalyst for many action sports athletes migrating from other sports to motorsports and provides an excellent platform for making small cars cool. NASCAR Green is growing stronger and faster than ever and has made significant environmental improvements and technological advancements in sustainability.

Connected-Vehicle Technology Keynote

    David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research and chairman of Auto Harvest
   

David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research and chairman of Auto Harvest, will be a featured speaker during the Technical Briefing Seminar entitled Race to Innovate: The Future of Performance and Customization.

     

SEMA’s Connected-Vehicle Technology Keynote will be presented by Anthony Levandowski, product manager for Google’s Self-Driving Car Technology, on Wednesday, October 31, from 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. in the VTC Theater.

While Google’s autonomous vehicles have been cruising the streets and highways of the San Francisco Bay Area for the past two years and have logged more than 250,000 miles, the goal isn’t to eliminate human driving, but rather to make it safer. Autonomous and connected-vehicle technologies, combined with mobile and consumer electronics, have extended far beyond the vehicle itself. Cars that communicate with each other are already on the road, but what will it take to get consumers really interested in vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) capabilities? This session will explore the market opportunities for V2V devices and services and help SEMA members understand how they can leverage new technologies and business opportunities in integrating consumer and automotive electronics.

This summer, the government is launching a yearlong test involving nearly 3,000 specially equipped cars, trucks and buses in Ann Arbor, Michigan. These vehicles sense each other wirelessly and warn their drivers about impending collisions, often before the other vehicle is in sight. In an even more extreme example, cars may someday soon drive themselves. As part of a pilot project, Google Inc. has equipped cars with sophisticated 360-degree sensors and computers that never get distracted or tired.

Vehicle Connectivity Forum

    David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research and chairman of Auto Harvest
   

Stephen Polk, chairman, CEO and president of R.L. Polk, will join Cole in the Race to Innovate discussion.

     

The Vehicle Connectivity Forum panel session is slated for November 1 from 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. in the VCT Theater. Panelists will include Roger Berg, leader of Denso’s Wireless Technology Group; Joe Gross from Kicker; Precksha Saksena-Sood, managing director of Telematics Update; David Pio form Facebook; Jake Sigal, founder of Livio Radio; and Nick Pudar from OnStar FMV.

There’s still quite a disconnect between the automotive and the consumer electronics industries. OEMs need to invite apps into the car while making sure they don’t compromise safety or performance. The industries also need to provide software development kits that make it easier for manufacturers, developers and installers to tailor applications and provide personalized content to the car.

Connected-vehicle technologies are driving automakers and aftermarket companies to new levels of collaboration and profitability—particularly in the area of integrating consumer and automotive electronics. Growth and innovation are all about connecting vehicles to consumers’ lifestyles, brands and experiences through vehicle performance, connectivity, dynamics and personalization.

“There are 250 million vehicles on the road in the United States today, and OEMs sell only 13 to 14 million new vehicles a year,” Waraniak said. “At that rate, it will take decades to get to a critical mass of new cars that can talk to one another to achieve the V2V communications network effect. But we could reach critical mass years sooner while simultaneously increasing sales for aftermarket manufacturers, retailers and installers by adding V2V communication capability through personal navigation devices, specialized aftermarket devices and smartphones—which is the Aftermarket X-Factor.”

Distracted driving and hands-free calling are both very hot topics these days, and Apple is looking to help solve the problem with its new automotive integration of Siri called Eyes Free. Apple’s interest in automotive, navigation and location-based services shows the importance of reaching consumers in the vehicle. Technology may yet bail us out of the problem of distracted driving—not by making us less distracted but by taking care of the driving.

Balancing entertainment options that drivers want—particularly the increasing connectivity demands from the younger generation—while ensuring that drivers aren’t too distracted is a continuing challenge for OEMs and aftermarket companies. Connected-vehicle technologies have the potential to avoid up to 80% of crash scenarios. The NHTSA is asking carmakers to disable features that encourage drivers to take both hands off the wheel or glance away from the road for more than two seconds.

Onboard vehicle technologies combined with built-in, beamed-in and brought-in technologies are creating many new and exciting product and service opportunities for specialty-equipment and performance aftermarket manufacturers, installers, retailers and distributors. By 2014, 70% of all consumer devices will be connected to the Internet, and many consumers want to extend their digital lifestyles into their vehicles.

Generation-O is the generation of 10- to 29-year-olds known as Optimizers. Gen-O will be the generation that shows the industry the way forward in how new technologies, apps and products will be used to connect to their vehicles and optimize the customer experience. Voice activation, gesture recognition and other technologies to mitigate distractions are already in or are on their way into the latest vehicles. Apple’s Siri assistance function will certainly raise consumer expectations for voice-controlled user interaction with apps in their vehicles.

“Many Millennials consider driving to be the distraction,” Waraniak said. “Those companies with platforms that force them to go off the grid will lose to those that do not. More than 1.8 billion youth have mobile phones, and 60% sleep with their phones. Nearly 80% would spend their last $10 on topping off their phones—not their cars. If you are not connecting Gen-O users, you are interrupting them.”

The Race to Innovate: The Future of Performance and Customization Forum

    David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research and chairman of Auto Harvest
   

SEMA’s innovative partnership with Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research will feature the unveiling of Deep Orange 3 during a press conference in the VTC.

     

The Race to Innovate: The Future of Performance and Customization will be the focus of a contemporary session on Thursday, November 1, from 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. in the VTC Theater. This exciting forum panel session will include David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research and chairman of Auto Harvest, and Stephen Polk, chairman, CEO and president of R.L. Polk.

Technology and open innovation are central to profitable growth for SEMA members. When combined with what Waraniak called the Aftermarket X-Factor and collaborative business, revenue and organizational models, they are rapidly democratizing traditional product, service, marketing and branding strategies. It takes a new way of thinking and tools to deal with disruptive technologies and learning how to future-proof a business.

Together, advanced vehicle technologies, collaborative practices and the four megatrends have the power to make, move and reshape markets and are leading the automotive industry to one of the most exciting times in history for both OEM and aftermarket industry players. Open innovation, collaboration and designing for customization are quickly becoming best practices and competitive advantages in the new automotive normal. Disruptive vehicle technologies drive innovation, and innovation drives growth. Boundaries are vanishing, and new players with new rules are entering the performance aftermarket.

“The auto sun is rising, but I believe we are only halfway through the crisis that began in 2009,” Waraniak said. “The biggest danger OEMs and SEMA companies face is going native and reverting to their old ways.”

The auto industry and the performance aftermarket are facing increasingly complex vehicles and value chains that require cross-industry product development collaboration, technology roadmapping and future-proofing of product and service offerings. Future-proofing anticipates emerging and future technology developments in order to mitigate potential negative consequences and leverage new opportunities for specialty-equipment businesses. Creating a technology roadmap is one of the best tools SEMA companies can use to help them future-proof their businesses. Disruptive technologies don’t totally eliminate existing technologies, but they do often eliminate businesses and companies.

The Race to Innovate session will focus on how advanced vehicle technology and new business models are being implemented today and how they are impacting the future of performance and customization. It may be tough, but the grid is set for the next few years to be podium years for many SEMA companies.

Special Session: Clemson Deep Orange Project

SEMA’s innovative partnership with the CU-ICAR will be the subject of a press conference in the VTC.

“The Clemson project is an excellent example of open innovation and generative thinking in action,” Waraniak said. “SEMA and CU-ICAR have teamed up to offer SEMA members access to world-class resources at affordable costs. This is a must-attend event for technology and performance professionals.”