To help rectify a relative lack of automotive content in the world of TV documentaries, General Motors and the Discovery Channel are teaming up to bring a four-part series to the small screen in 2007. The new series will follow eight interns as they each take a vehicle - based on GM's hydrogen fuel cell technology - from the drawing board through the design process. The series promises a "rare look" at several aspects of automotive industry and product development process, such as the sprawling engineering centers and proving grounds where cars are born and put to the test.
Given the number of vehicles being followed and the relatively short length of the series, we're a bit concerned that several aspects of the development process will be glossed-over; however, considering that it's currently easier to find documentaries on the making of Little Debbie swiss-cake rolls than it is to find anything on the passenger car design process, we'll take what we can get.
[Source: GM; the full press release is posted after the jump]
With exclusive access to the GM Design internship program, the documentary will include elite young designers as they develop eight vehicles - each based on GM's advanced hydrogen fuel cell technology - from initial sketches through digital models to finished design properties.
Along the way, viewers will get a rare look at the design studios, confidential proving grounds, aero labs and engineering centers that continue to yield amazing advances in automotive development.
"In working with GM, we are providing valuable information to consumers about how today's automotive designers and tomorrow's innovators are working to solve the challenges that impact so many of us on a daily basis," said Jane Root, executive vice president and general manager, Discovery Channel, The Science Channel and Military Channel. "Using GM as a backdrop for advancements in automotive design and engineering, Discovery Channel ultimately provides viewers with knowledge of how their lives will be impacted."
GM's eight design interns will help put a human face on the challenges facing the next generation of car designers. Each summer GM hosts interns from top schools, challenging them with real-world projects that enhance their skills and help them master the latest design technology. The program also helps GM recruit future designers for its network of 11 global design centers.
"GM Design's intern program allows students to create future vehicles in a working design center using the latest in methods and technology," said Ed Welburn, GM Vice President, Global Design, and an alumnus of the GM Design intern program. "My internship at GM, under the leadership of Bill Mitchell, nurtured my passion for design and helped prepare me for a career that I love. Our goal is to do the same for this year's interns."
CBS Productions is producing this documentary for Discovery Channel. For Discovery Channel, Charlie Parsons is the executive producer and for CBS Productions Rob Cohen is the executive producer and Matt Bennett is the senior producer.