I guess I should tell you what this Supermileage Vehicle (SMV) thing is all about.

Before I get into it, let me warn you: something you’ll get to know about me is that I have very little knowledge about cars.  My brain simply doesn’t work that way.  I think spark plugs are magic critters that make engines run.  I just don’t get it.

But I understand the idea behind SMV.  It’s a program run by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) for college students studying engineering or technology.  These kids are given a four-cylinder Briggs and Stratton engine, a few safety specifications, and turned loose on the automotive world.  They have to build a one-person car that gets the best miles per gallon possible without bursting into flames or falling apart.  The teams compete against each other in June, and then it’s “let the best tiniest skinniest driver win.”  Remember, they’re going for gas mileage here, no holds barred.

That’s a little technical stuff.  What drives SMV isn’t the dinky little engine, though; it’s the man (or woman) power, the literally countless hours the team spends scheming and designing and building and crying (at least inwardly).

And really, that’s what innovation is all about.

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