SEMA’s Three Things

There are three characteristics of the cars and light trucks of the future need to be or have, according to John Waraniak, vice president of Vehicle Technology, Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA): Cars that don’t crash Powertrains that don’t pollute Accessories that don’t distract Waraniak made this point during his moderation of a panel at the SAE Convergence conference that included people from companies including Microsoft, Kia, and OnStar.

There are three characteristics of the cars and light trucks of the future need to be or have, according to John Waraniak, vice president of Vehicle Technology, Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA):

  • Cars that don’t crash
  • Powertrains that don’t pollute
  • Accessories that don’t distract

Waraniak made this point during his moderation of a panel at the SAE Convergence conference that included people from companies including Microsoft, Kia, and OnStar.

The third point—about accessories, meaning digital tech that’s becoming part and parcel of vehicles—was a primary focus of the panel because as the electronics content of vehicles increase, and as the Facebook Generation gets behind the wheel in greater numbers (no, we don’t mean all of the soccer dads and working moms that are swapping scores and schedules on the site), “driving becomes the distraction,” Waraniak quipped.

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It almost seems as though as vehicle manufacturers work to become more “relevant,” they also face a huge challenge of being more responsible than the manufacturers of consumer products—from smart phones to Zunes—need to be (i.e., vehicle manufacturers know that the people who are using their products are piloting a couple thousand pounds of metal, glass, etc. at velocity, and while electronics are cool, the Laws of Physics are unyielding).

Arguably, these three characteristics are achievable as the OEMs and the supply base work together.

Oh, and there is one more characteristic that Waraniak said was a must, something that is part and parcel of what SEMA is all about: “The cars must be cool.”