Blog: Simon WarburtonNavigating the RenCen

Simon Warburton | 10 January 2012

Out to Delphi's hugely impressive HQ this morning just down the road from where I'm staying in Troy and a chat with its chief technologist Andrew Brown, whose CV and various committee nominations leaves me wondering how he finds 24h in a day.

The Tier One operation is thinking up some pretty amazing ideas for driver aids that are partly driven by its own evaluation and the inexorable march of government regulation and while it might not be possible to create the accident-free car, Delphi's doing what it can to get close.

Mind you, with the way drivers weave across freeway lanes in Detroit, those driver aids are going to have go work fairly hard to cope, although having lived in Paris, I'm toughened up to some challenging driving.

I also had a long discussion with OESA boss Neil de Koker who gave a fascinating tour de force of the current US economic climate and as America braces itself for Presidential election fever.

You can't get away from electioneering here - it's everywhere - with some fairly robust TV advertising highlighting their candidate attributes - and unusual for me to hear - equally highlighting what people argue are the opposition's shortcomings.

Back to the RenCen now for the Automotive News World Congress - I echo my colleague Graeme Roberts' struggles with the layout - I did several laps of its cavernous interior before I found the right escalator/room combination. In fact, like Graeme, I passed the same people several times, all perambulating in giant circles.

People can't stop talking about the weather here - and I thought we Brits were bad enough at it - but it's an unusual auto show in Detroit that doesn't have to battle mighty blizzards in January.

[Winter is finally coming: snow and 30F temperatures are forecast for Thursday and Friday - ed]


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