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Automakers Find Way to Race Products to Market

New car design method wins engineering innovation prize.

by on Dec.23, 2009

A new software system, dubbed ACP, should help speed up vehicle development time - and lower costs.

Among other imperatives, like improving fuel economy, automakers are under pressure to develop products faster, and at lower cost. An engineering firm thinks it has found a new way to achieve those goals, and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Enterprise Forum (MITEF) agree.

At a recent dinner meeting SAE and MITEF selected Troy, Michigan-based Engineering Technology Associates (ETA) as a winner in this year’s Innovation Accelerator Competition.

(Judges also awarded a prize to a Massachusetts start-up that is working to make batteries last longer. The winners gain consulting time with industry gurus who will help them bring their technology to market sooner than otherwise possible.)


Time-to-market is a critical metric for automakers mired in an ongoing sales slump made worse by the intense pressure to innovate in order to differentiate despite resource limitations. They cannot survive without sophisticated software tools – and combinations of tools – designed to save time, lower cost, and make it possible to try out many different concepts without having to actually build any of them.