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Recapping CAR Management  Briefing Seminars

Recapping CAR 2017 Management Briefing Seminars

Written By, Chloe L.

Last week, the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) wrapped up the CAR Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Michigan, and there was an endless amount of information about the present and future automotive industry. Here are a couple highlights.


One of the hottest topics across the automotive industry has been discussion about artificial intelligence and self-driving cars and just as big as the discussion is on the tech and development of self-driving cars is the discussion about how A.I. can play a role in other areas in the auto industry. At one of the panel discussions during the four-day event, panelists discussed the other ways that A.I. is going to change the auto industry and that includes everything from production to sales to business operations.

Also on the A.I. front was a discussion led by Melissa Cefkin, principal researcher of human-centered systems at Nissan's Research Center. Cefkin focused on the social behaviors that self driving cars need to learn before dominating the roads. One of the biggest examples of A.I. driving clashing with real world driving are the everyday nonchalant experience drivers have based on simple and quick interactions with each other. Ever decide to let a pedestrian or another car go before you? Drivers make those kinds of decisions all the time, but self-driving cars don’t yet have the ability to detect another driver’s physical gestures like waving or turning and she wants to see more of that.

Green Tech and New Partnerships

Another key discussion during the seminar was about the impact of the Chevy Bolt EV, but the discussion wasn’t as much about the car as it was the ways in which Chevy worked with other companies to create the vehicle and how that could have a lasting impact on the industry. To make the Bolt, GM partnered up with supply companies for various elements needed in the production process and Steve Kiefer, GM purchasing chief, believes the practice offers the manufacturer a lot of advantages in terms of costs, tooling and product development in the future.

FCA’S Quality Ratings on the Rise

In case you didn’t hear, all FCA U.S. brands improved in this year’s annual J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, and quality improvement has recently been one of FCA’s main focuses. Leading the discussion on FCA’s steps towards improvement was Scott Garberding, head of quality at FCA. Garberding joined FCA in 2016 and saw an immediate need for quality improvement and developed a new plan aimed at keeping customers happy and maintaining their customer base. At the meeting, Garberding discussed his three-pronged approach that includes proactive, reactive and preventive steps.

Is there anything in the car industry you would like to know more about? What are your thoughts about self-driving cars or quality improvement? Let us know on social media!