If I had to summarize my thoughts about 2018 into one sentence, it would be this: I am more excited than ever about SAE International.
Yes, we had another very strong year financially, and we continued to invest internally and strengthened our professional staff.
All good things.
But the pearl of 2018 was our overall strategy. We created a new mission, vision, and strategy. We have positioned ourselves not only for the future, but in the future.
Moving forward, our mission is will focus on our true stakeholders – the public – and providing them with safe and sustainable mobility. We started directly engaging the public to better understand wants and needs. As we create standards for vehicles and the ecosystem at large, it is critical that we engage these stakeholders.
For the first century of our existence, SAE owned the inside of the vehicle. That was the legacy that helped us create the passenger car and have a profound impact on the commercial vehicle and aerospace industries.
We are making a paradigm shift. The next 100 years will see SAE as a critical player in what goes on outside the vehicle in the context of the world of mobility.
Please don’t misunderstand. It’s not and an “either-or” situation. It’s an “and.” We will continue to own the inside, but we also will own the vehicle in context.
It would be easy for SAE to say that we are just going to stick to our knitting and let some other organization deliver the technology of the future. We won’t do that. We will continue to be forward thinking and stay relevant for the next 100 years.
Another exciting aspect of this move is that international stakeholders have pulled SAE into these spaces. We had profound support from industry and government leaders asking – “demanding” might be a better word – that SAE to step into this space. As mobility becomes increasingly integrated, SAE will be a pivotal player to that environment.
Things are equally exciting on the aerospace side of our business. As electrification of the aircraft becomes more commonplace with fly-by-wire technology and as fuel cells are introduced into propulsion systems. There will be a need for more standards in these areas and two major players in the European aerospace industry – Airbus and Safran – have said, “it has to be SAE.” To address that need, SAE created a new electric aircraft committee in 2018, and Airbus and Safran engineers took leadership roles.
In short, our global stakeholders have proactively engaged SAE as the preferred mechanism for solving global mobility challenges.
I also want to salute the 65,000 worldwide members that enable SAE to engage and fulfill its mission. We don’t do this on our own. Global mobility leaders come to SAE because we provide profound value to industry and society.
That value is provided by dedicated SAE members who are the best and brightest in the mobility industry.