The auto trade’s mightiest mechanical minds descend on Detroit each Spring to share engineering developments for the SAE World Congress tech present. This 12 months, six automotive improvements that caught our eye included a novel rare-earth-free axial-thrust induction motor, an electrical motor disconnect impressed by bicycle sprockets, an ultra-low-energy windshield defroster, an eagle-eyed new ADAS digicam, a probably-pipedream/possibly-promising diesel turbo compounder, and the newest “EcoWave” providing from our friends at Orbis Brakes—which received a International Automotive & Mobility Innovation Problem (GAMIC) Award. Congrats! Now, let’s make sense of all of it.

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