Road Signs: 3D Printing, Parallel Parking, Web v Word Of Mouth

Not AWCOM’S forte but this car found buried in the November Amsterdam Journal is new to us. “Urbee Hybrid – the first car to have entire body 3D printed.” It is manufactured by Stratasy headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minn. and Kor Ecologic, Winnipeg, Urbee - first car to have entire body 3-D paintedCanada. According to the Journal “All exterior components – including the glass panel prototypes – were created using Dimension 3D Printers and Fortus 3D Production Systems.” The electric-fuel hybrid claims more than 200-mpg highway and 100 mpg in U.S. gallons. Also, “The car is charged overnight for pennies from any standard electrical outlet. Alternately, it can be charged by renewable energy from a windmill or a solar panel array small enough to fit on top of a single car garage.”

The Detroit Bureau reports research by Ford and MIT counters some concerns about in-car technology contributing to driver distraction. The study found automatic parallel parking and Cross-Traffic Alert, can relieve driver stress and improve overall driver safety and wellbeing. . . . MediaPost Raw News reports that the online editor for the U.K.’s Sun Newspaper, Peter Picton, is joining News Corp’s Daily Planet Project, to develop a mass-market national U.S. title on tablets . . . . Wooden Horse News reports US News & World Reports’ December issue will be its last in print. The company’s popular guides will be printed for newsstand and targeted distribution along with four other special editions. Otherwise, it will be a digital publisher.

Women now prefer web sites to word-of-mouth for gathering information about products and services with automobiles at the top, a Research Brief from the Center for Media Research reports. But, based on the Harbinger Women & Word of Mouth Study, females still prefer to share opinions by word of mouth and they are most likely to share them about automobiles, restaurants and entertainment . . . . Possibly good news for auto writers is a report by MediaPost writer Max Kalehoff that new software under development erases advertising on the Internet – even in videos. The alternative being, presumably, learning about products from articles.

AutoTrader.com’s acquisition of Kelley Blue Book adds 900 sales reps to KBB’s limited national crew and enables the combined services to guide consumers from model and market price to the dealer lot nearest them. Edmuds.com is on the verge of re-launching its site with multi new features, including dealer ratings. Marketing Daily’s Karl Greenburg quotes Edmund’s CEO Jeremy Anwyl’s explanation for the overhaul five-years in the making, “If we don’t solve problems for consumers, we have no relevance. Most of our traffic is people who came to us from Google or Bing with a real need,” he says. “If we can’t solve that, we have failed.”. . . From Steve Goldstein’s MIN Online interview with David Zinczenko, SVP/editor-in-chief of Men’s Health and editorial director of Women’s Health: “My recommendation for people who want to be in the media now is to be a voracious consumer of information technologies, so that you have a full appreciation of all the ways it is possible to reach an audience. The old-school media are not going to go away, but they have been and will be joined by increasing numbers of outlets that up the ante and the immediacy of the work we are producing. Why settle for being in somebody’s briefcase when you can flow in through their eyes and ears and inhabit their heads? That’s the skill today’s editors need to have.”

This Post Has One Comment

  1. The Urbee Hybrid – the first car to have its body 3D printed shows us what’s wrong with modern cars. This thing looks like a cough drop, a blob of unimaginative computer-generated garbage that was imagined by some 30-something designer who has spent way too much time gaming and texting and otherwise being self-involved.
    Having been in this game for over 40 years, I am probably more than a bit jaded but if this is what we will all be driving over the next 20 years, I think I will buy a horse. What ever happened to the great automotive designers? Did they all pass away into extinction like the dinosaurs did? Is there no modern Harley Earl?
    I don’t know about you all, but I for one am tired of cars that look like blobs, computer mouses (Prius) or are just plain, butt ugly (Nissan should be ashamed of the cube). Today, it seems that cars are about connectivity and not about style, handling, and driving fun. Why do we need a car that connects us to Facebook and Twitter while we are driving (MINI Countryman). You know, auto writing used to be fun, it is now a slog. I guess I’ll keep my old Jeep, my MG, and ride my Royal Enfield. These machines weren’t even close to being perfect, but they a certain style, were fun to drive and weren’t loaded with electroinic geegaws that distracted one’s attention from the task at hand, which was controlling the vehicle.
    Sure, I appreciate the modern technical and safety conveniences that are available, even if some of them are installed to protect the “innocent” from them selves, but at least package the technology in an attractive shell. And let’s get rid of Facebook and Twitter access from behind the wheel. Save that for your Blackberry, PC or better yet, ignore it entirely. As Betty White recently said, “I don’t use Facebook or Twitter, it is all such a waste of time.” I think she has a point. Perhaps I’ll post that on my Facebook page…

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