8 THOUGHTS ON CARS

The fu­ture ac­cord­ing to Holt

Motor (Australia) - - THE INTERVIEW. LARRY HOLT -

BUILD­ING A MUL­TI­MATIC CAR

“Peo­ple ask why we don’t build our own car. Mainly it’s be­cause we’ve worked with Ford and GM and AMG and As­ton and we know th­ese are $100m pro­grams, min­i­mum. You need an OEM for that. We’re proud of our part in the Ford GT pro­gram; we do what we’re good at.”

THE FU­TURE FOR MA­JOR CAR MAK­ERS

“Big com­pa­nies are try­ing to fig­ure out the fu­ture. They’re wor­ried about their busi­nesses be­ing taken away by some new guy. I’m not so sure it’s the big prob­lem they worry about. Peo­ple talk about what hap­pened to Ko­dak and Block­buster video, but this is a car we’re talk­ing about. A car is re­ally hard to [make].”

MOD­I­FY­ING TO­DAY’S CARS FOR THE FU­TURE

“Maybe the fu­ture car isn’t only about all­new au­ton­o­mous de­signs from orig­i­nal man­u­fac­tur­ers. It might be some­one com­ing up with an elec­tric ve­hi­cle pow­er­train or an au­ton­o­mous driv­ing sys­tem and fit­ting it to ex­ist­ing cars.” “We be­lieve strongly that car­bon fi­bre will find its way into the high-vol­ume world. We’re de­vel­op­ing pro­cesses and tech­niques, such as car­bon-fi­bre stamp­ing, that are play­ing out right now, and we think that tech­nol­ogy will find a new rel­e­vance very soon.”

AU­TON­O­MOUS RIDE AND HAN­DLING

“What will an au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cle be like, dy­nam­i­cally? We think it’ll need dif­fer­ent things... We’ve hooked up with the biome­chan­ics guys at the Uni­ver­sity of Padua who un­der­stand in­ner ear is­sues and body me­chan­ics – stuff that makes peo­ple prone to mo­tion sick­ness.”

THE RISK OF R&D

“Some de­part­ments are too full of sci­en­tists and think-tanks, all do­ing the­o­ret­i­cal stuff and go­ing off at tan­gents. That’s also a prob­lem with the cur­rent ob­ses­sion with Sil­i­con Val­ley. Every­one’s out there try­ing to find the next great idea, but I’m not sure they’ve got the prag­ma­tism needed.”

A NEW ROLE FOR AC­TIVE SUS­PEN­SIONS

“We think the needs of pas­sen­gers in au­ton­o­mous cars could play in favour of fully ac­tive sus­pen­sions. What will re­ally make peo­ple com­fort­able? Some will be sit­ting back­wards, after all. And what do pas­sen­gers need when they read a book? Not every­one’s go­ing to spend the whole jour­ney look­ing out of the win­dow.”

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