Well its not like these ideas haven't been created before but never came into fruitation.
I don't know why thats hard to believe?
What if they did this on purpose and where in hold of these types of ideas and just waited to put them out for a time like now for example to give their cars the leading edge in gas mileage making more car sails?
Doubt thats what happened but it could be possible. I think popular mechanics was having a 1 million dollar prize for a group to make a car that can get 100 mpg that can also be mass produced and used in real life and one car that was made had i think it was around 340mpg, it seems pointless to me that no one (being car company's) will use these competitions and pick one of the participants up and create a new line of vehicles.
Unless they are in bed with the oil company's as well?