1974-05-01

Scarcity and Social Accountability: An American Perspective on New Priorities for the Automotive Engineer 741215

The engineer's traditional task of finding the best, most economical solution to technical problems becomes vastly more demanding in a time of energy and materials scarcity. Adaptability, flexibility, and quick access to suitable alternatives will acquire new significance in the next decade. Conservation measures, such as recycling, remanufacturing, and design for production and operational efficiency will increasingly figure in the development of transportation products.
Beyond these and other changes in design emphasis lies a rising clamor for engineering accountability. Product liability legislation, many costly court decisions, and increased governmental regulation of many aspects of design all indicate growing public concern with the consequences of new technology. The trend toward establishing agencies for technology assessment will allow the engineer to participate in the evaluation of his designs in terms of their long-term social and economic impacts.

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