My Other Vehicle is Unmanned – Sketchbattle Pro 17 Chicago

Over the past 7 years, the Sketchbattle has evolved and grown from a small intimate cocktail party and sketching competition to a significant and critically important stop on the the North American Auto Show circuit.  Except for one event in the fall of 2014 where the “experiment” morphed into a graffiti battle, the previous 16 events were centered and focused on automotive design.  The Sketchbattle Pro event in Chicago as presented by AUVSI, broke with tradition and will go down in history as the first product-design oriented Sketchbattle as part of the massive Xponential Conference. Many more are coming and are in the midst of their planning stages!

IMG_4217So, for Sketchbattle #17, we present to you the theme “All Things Unmanned”.

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5th Avenue Death Match – Sketchbattle Pro #16 New York

Just when we think we have the “Experiment” part eliminated from our event title, we do something new and exciting.  In New York at the Jalopnik office we were presented with something that had never happened in 15 previous events – a tie.  And how we handled that will likely happen again, so we present to you our first “Death Match”.IMG_8964

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Today, Today, Today

In the midst of Manhatten  8 designers will come together in an epic clash of stress, drama and talent to compete for the title of Sketchmaster at the inaugural Sketchbattle Pro New York thanks to the support of Jalopnik and Gizmodo Media.  There are fewer than 20 tickets left so get them fast at Jalopnik’s website or ours.

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Big Apple, Big Deal, Sketchbattle #16 New York

We are pleased and proud to announce our first Sketchbattle Pro event in New York City timed to coincide with the New York Auto Show.  Can the news get any better than that?  How about we are doing the event in Jalopnik’s swanky Headquarters (full disclosure, never been there, have no idea if it is swanky or not, but you don’t either so let’s just run with it).  Details are below as well as a list of our contestants (which will be updated daily as we add new sketchers daily until full)….

Sketchbattle16 NYC v5

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Will Autonomous Vehicles cause accidents?

Recently I participated in AV19 Silicon Valley, the Autonomous Vehicles conference held annually on the west coast.  As the moderator of the closing panel on Industry Standards and Governmental Regulations, I had a chance to pose questions on the future of safety to Walter Stockwell, Director of Safety Policy at Starsky Robotics and Bert Kaufman, Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs at Zoox.  And while the 3 days of Workshops, Presentations and Panel Discussions clearly proved that self-driving vehicles will save countless lives, the question of “overall safety” kept popping up in my mind.  More on that point later, here are a few things that were presented that may be of interest.


Bert Kaufmann/ZOOX, Walter Stockwell/Starsky and Frank Schwartz/AACS, the author

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What does Motorsports have to do with Business?

So why is a post about racing on our business page?  Because at AACS, our business is built around the lessons learned from 39 years of participating in Motorsports activities.  While many may consider Motorsports a hobby, it is at the core of what we do.  Our team attacks your business development objectives with the same passion we attack turn 1 at Indianapolis (where we went from 28th to 14th after the drop of the green flag).  We have participated at many different levels of Motorsports, from autocrossing, to road rallyes, to track days, ending up wheel-to-wheel racing with the country’s top talents.  And the results speak for themselves; our winning percentage of more than 1 out of every 3 events, with a podium finish almost 70% of the time is almost unheard of in the sport.  So here are the lessons that drive our passion as we work on your Business Development activities, or as I prefer to say “Everything I know about Business, I learned from Racing”.38847466_10215859643754483_7147583612206972928_n Continue reading

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Sketchbattle 15 Winners!

If you have any question that Detroit is the center of the automotive design universe, Sketchbattle 15 should alleviate your doubts.  More than 600 people, a mix of automotive designers, engineers, suppliers, Detroit-area businesses, the local arts community,  automotive enthusiasts, media and even Michigan Legislators, came together to celebrate design as a talent as the newest Sketchmaster was crowned.  Before we give you a rundown of the rounds and the winner, let us take you through the activities of the evening from beginning to end…..


Historic St. Andrew’s Hall, site of Sketchbattle 15                                           photo: Charles Ruggles

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The Detroit and Cleveland Shows are Now Related

The following is an editorial and does not represent the opinion of any of our clients – the views expressed are mine and mine alone.  The Cleveland Auto Show has a new brother, the Detroit Auto Show.  I can no longer call it the North American International Auto Show because a) it is no longer truly international and b) it really doesn’t even represent North America that well either.  Does all that sound a bit harsh?  I don’t think so.  To understand my opinion you should at least understand my point of view, so please read on…….

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Here are your Themes for Sketchbattle 15

With the countdown clock under 12 hours, and tickets flying out the door, it is a great time to review the themes for the 3 rounds of tonight’s epic clash of design titans.  We are not billed as “The Fight Club of Design” for nothing – come watch designer’s egos get bloody as they sketch live.  Tickets are available for a pre-event discount price until NOON today at

sb15 detroit2019 flyer v5

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What’s in the Basement – Sketchbattle 15

At Sketchbattle 12, the basement of St. Andrew’s was basically empty and used only for coat check.  What a difference a year makes.  For Sketchbattle 15 the famous Shelter, where Eminem had rap battles in the movie 8 Mile, is a hot bed of its own activity.  Auction items for charity Project Beautiful will be joined by an Art Show of epic talent as the bar is open make The Shelter the perfect place to spend the down-time between rounds.50458286_2225569977769332_2491126249095692288_n

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