I’m old enough to remember when Elon was a joke and the established automakers all mocked him and said that what he was doing would never work. Now, he is their role model, in a turnaround that reminds me of when Steve Jobs did much the same thing in the ‘90s and ‘00s with computers, phones, and music-listening devices, though that was a more complete transformation in that space. With autos, it’s still very much to be seen.


Reverse: Airbag Man Dead

From The New York Times:

Allen K. Breed, a pioneer in air bag technology for cars and founder of one of the world’s largest manufacturers of automobile safety systems, Breed Technologies of Lakeland, Fla., died Dec. 13 at a hospital in Orlando, Fla. He was 72.


Allen Kent Breed was born on July 27, 1927, in Chicago. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and joined RCA. In the 1950's, he worked for the Gruen Watch Company and founded Waltham Engineering.

His work at the Breed Corporation in the 1960's focused on military safety devices. He later applied the technology to automotive air bag systems and created his first air bag sensor design for cars in 1968.

Last year, Breed was the third-largest supplier of automotive safety systems in the world, with sales of $1.4 billion, behind TRW and Autoliv. It has 400 employees in Lakeland and 14,000 worldwide. Last month, however, the company sought Chapter 11 protection in United States Bankruptcy Court, largely the result of buying AlliedSignal Inc.’s Safety Restraint Systems division for $710 million.

Mr. Breed was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Mich., in 1999 in recognition of his invention of an air bag set off by an electromechanical sensor, a forerunner of the electronic sensors popular today.


Neutral: How Are You?

I’m still buzzing from yesterday’s Formula 1 finale. That was a ridiculous way to end the season, and Mercedes rightfully feels a little aggrieved, but, on the other hand, that was incredible entertainment.