|SEMA’s Emerging Trends and Technology Network has launched a pilot initiative: the ETTN Vehicle Sharing Program, providing a platform for their members to find each other’s vehicles to share.|
By SEMA Editors
ETTN Launches New Initiatives
SEMA-member manufacturers are known for their creativity, craftsmanship and innovation, and they go to great lengths to design and engineer their products. To assist with product development, member companies from time to time utilize resources available through the SEMA Garage.
At the garage there are 3-D printing processes that allow manufacturers to quickly produce a physical prototype of their product; a dynamometer for precise emissions measurements; and custom scanning services. There’s the Tech Transfer program that affords access to OEM computer-aided design data from participating automakers, as well as periodic measuring sessions that provide hands-on access to new vehicles furnished by various OEMs.
But there are times when manufacturers need to get their hands on new and other hard-to-get vehicles for more extensive research and development, and that can be challenging, especially for small businesses. With that thought in mind, SEMA’s Emerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN) has launched a pilot initiative: the ETTN Vehicle Sharing Program. The idea behind the program is for members to connect and help one another.
“The focus of the ETTN Vehicle Sharing Program is to develop an aggregated list of available vehicles among member fleets, which are available to other member companies for their use,” said ETTN Chair Ian Lehn. “Our goal is to lower the hurdle to smaller businesses in developing technology and parts.”
Lehn used an online dating analogy in describing how the program works.
“Think of it as SEMA’s version of Match.com,” he said. “ETTN is providing the platform for members to find each other’s vehicles, but it’s up to the ‘daters’—member companies—to chat, discuss the expectations of the ‘date’ and ultimately meet up.
“Our friends at the SEMA Garage—and the OEMs that participate in Tech Transfer and the measuring sessions—provide a valuable resource to members and the industry. We hope that the ETTN Vehicle Sharing Program will help continue the facilitation and be another component to help grow our industry.”
Six member manufacturers have already expressed interest in the pilot program. Companies willing to offer vehicles to the program, or those that have a need for vehicles to develop and test their products, are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Portal to Connect College Students With Member Companies
|ETTN has embarked on a new portal program to connect college-level, advanced-engineering students with SEMA-member manufacturers to create a potential pool of valuable, next-generation job candidates.|
ETTN has also embarked on a new program to connect college-level advanced engineering students with SEMA-member manufacturers. The purpose is to provide a portal through which students competing in Formula SAE teams at their colleges or universities can reach out to interested member companies for assistance with services, parts, equipment and mentorship.
SAE Formula teams are comprised of bright, educated students with a keen interest in racing and performance, so it stands to reason that many are also interested in seeking careers in engineering, design and innovation across all platforms of today’s—and tomorrow’s—vehicles. That creates a potential pool of valuable, next-generation job candidates.
Unfortunately, the teams are often underfunded and strapped for resources. Member companies willing to assist a team or teams not only earn the satisfaction of lending a helping hand but also have the opportunity to engage with and recruit these highly sought-after innovators.
Moreover, for the cost of providing a part or service, manufacturers can request research or dissertations that take a deep dive into the part or service provided and basically receive free research and development in exchange for their support of the ETTN initiative.
“To secure our future in the industry, we need to bring new, innovative ideas into the halls of the SEMA Show and continually push the boundaries of technology in the automotive aftermarket,” Lehn said. “To do that, in my opinion, we must foster relationships with the next generation of innovators and thinkers. Let them know that there’s an exciting future with our member companies.”