The SAE World Congress, presented by SAE International, assembles the best talent in the automotive industry. Experts, management teams, engineers, and executives gather to collaborate and address current challenges, and seek new opportunities for discovery and exploration. The theme of the 2015 World Congress — held in Detroit from April 21-23 — is Leading Mobility Innovation, and challenges engineers to create mobility for the future through innovative technologies.

More than 11,000 engineers, executives, academics, and government and military personnel attended the SAE 2014 World Congress. This year’s event, hosted by Honda, will offer three days of networking opportunities and more than 1,500 technical presentations for attendees from more than 40 countries. Visit www.sae.org/congress  for more information.

NEW! Tech Hub

Located on the exhibit floor and completely new for 2015, the SAE World Congress Tech Hub will feature industry experts addressing technical advancements most critical to the sustained advancement and growth of the automotive industry, and will enlighten their colleagues with concepts not yet mature enough for formal technical paper presentation. Thought leaders from outside the industry will also challenge attendees with ideas and concepts that may be transferable, thought provoking, or even disruptive.

With the theme “Influences on Future Design,” the Tech Hub was developed with automotive engineers and other key stakeholders in mind. It integrates information sharing in short, impactful segments presented in diverse, non-traditional methods (such as hands-on demonstrations, engaging talks, etc.). Unlike other aspects of World Congress, the Tech Hub will provide information focused on topics specific to, or that can be transferred to, automotive engineering practices and support.

Featured experts from electronics, aerospace, motorsports, and other industries will address innovations, technology advancements, and disruptive ideas via SAE TechTalks. These short, informational presentations give an overview on conceptual technologies. The TEDx-like talks are featured daily in the Tech Hub.

TechTalks will include presentations from NASA’s Matthew Heverly, lead driver of the Curiosity Mars Rover, discussing autonomous vehicles; Ford Motor Co. on the use of virtual reality; Toyota on robotics; Intel on the Internet of Things and the automobile; and Honda on vehicle lightweighting. Also featured will be a “Best of TEDx Detroit” with entrepreneurs, thinkers, and artists who participated in the TEDx Detroit event last September.

Vehicle lightweighting also will be the focus in a vehicle teardown and analysis of the BMW i3 and Nissan Murano. The presentation will include an analysis of materials chosen for the vehicles, crash-worthiness of materials, and tradeoffs of using certain materials.

Find the complete Tech Hub schedule at www.sae.org/congress/tech_hub.htm .

Technical Sessions

The solutions-oriented Technical Sessions at SAE World Congress provide the perfect opportunity for engineering professionals to discover, collaborate, and engage with peers from around the globe. These Technical Sessions, developed by industry professionals to maximize industry relevance, are designed to allow industry members of all levels to gather relevant and stimulating information to enhance skills and creativity today. Technical Session categories include Integrated Design & Manufacturing, Propulsion/Powertrain, Management & Marketplace, Electronics, Materials, Emissions/ Environment/Sustainability, and Body/Chassis/Safety/Structure.

Opening Keynote

Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering at Google, is one of the world’s leading inventors, thinkers, and futurists, and will present the keynote address at Tuesday’s opening ceremony. Kurzweil was the principal inventor of the first CCD flatbed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to- speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition. At Google, he heads a team developing machine intelligence and natural language understanding.

Innovators Only Exhibition

This exclusive opportunity is limited to companies who accept the “Innovators Only” challenge and have proven to be top industry innovators and solution providers. The Innovators Only Exhibition supplies the perfect venue for engaging a qualified audience of reviewers, collaborators, and customers. Learn more at www.sae.org/congress/exhibit .

Special Events

SAE is planning exciting activities to engage and foster young professionals and students at World Congress. Programs and activities are designed to inform, encourage, and motivate the leaders of tomorrow. This initiative will provide solid leadership principles, and a valuable opportunity to learn from and network with executives from major corporations.

Take the wheel and test drive the latest innovative technologies, recent launches, and specialty or halo vehicles on the Ride and Drive 10-minute course. Ride and Drive is open to all registered attendees. In 2014, 29 vehicles saw over 2,200 riders drive the Fiat 500e, Honda Civic EX, Hyundai Tuscon FLEV, Hyundai Genesis, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, and many of the other participating OEM and supplier vehicles.

The SAE 2015 World Congress Career Fair will provide the opportunity for mobility industry engineers and professionals to explore available jobs, network, and meet with professional recruiters and representatives from OEMs and suppliers.

Chat with the Experts

As an extension of the Technical Program, Chat with the Experts discussion groups create an informal environment between audience and expert to explore technical issues, pose questions of concern, and share lessons learned. The goal of these chat sessions is to enhance technical understanding and facilitate interactive problem solving.

Each Chat begins with a 5- to 10-minute overview on the subject to be addressed, given by the expert. Then, each expert will facilitate dialogue on concerns, issues, or questions about the subject with a group of up to 20 attendees. Each attendee is encouraged to pose questions, share experiences, and explore practical solutions. Go to the online program at www.sae.org/congress/attend/program  for information on dates and times.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the April, 2015 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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