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Wednesday, July 07, 2004


A couple of things from the world of automotive:
  • This movie shows that not every SUV is necessarily prone to rollovers.

  • This movie shows a driver who knows how to control his vehicle after the cops try the ol' back-bumper spinout...did he practice?

  • It seems that the automotive industry might be running out of Vehicle Identification Numbers:
    The Society of Automotive Engineers, which established the existing VIN system in 1981 and expected it to last 30 years, has formed a committee to address the impending shortage.
    But the system was developed before lots of cars were made?
    At the root of the impending shortage is the explosion of vehicle production in recent decades. Automakers build 60 million cars and trucks every year and each one needs a unique VIN in the same way a newborn is given a Social Security number. And that doesn't count heavy trucks, motorcycles and other vehicles that require VINs.
    60 million cars per year? This is roughly one car per hundred people on the earth, which seems high. I haven't bought a new car in six years and I only know three who have bought new cars in the past year and I know that there are millions around the world who have no access to cars, or electricity and running water for that matter.

    Seems like the problem is similar to the Y2K bug, as "[l]onger codes would require a major overhaul of computer systems that would dwarf the challenges and expenses spawned by the Y2K computer dilemma, said Dave Proefke, chairman of the committee."

    There is hope for unemployed Cobol programmers yet.

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