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The global automotive industry continues to grow at a staggering rate and the opportunities and challenges faced by the motor industry are varied and exciting. In order to meet these challenges, SMMT has launched the ‘Award for Automotive Innovation‘ to encourage and recognise the creation and development of new innovative products, technologies and ideas that could change the face of the UK automotive industry.
From the invention of the three-point seat belt to the airbag and Electronic Stability Control, the automotive industry has been a constant innovator of new products to encourage safer and greener motoring. At Ã¢â€š¬20 billion per year, the automotive sector is Europe’s largest investor in R&D, driving industry forward and helping deliver more sustainable motoring for the 21st century.
The automotive industry is conducting extensive work to revolutionise the transport system. This will make roads safer and allow an improved traffic flow therefore cutting emissions.
Key areas being developed include Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) which allow vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. Implementing these communication systems can help to reduce road accidents, relieve congestion and reduce emissions. Examples of ITS applications in use today include urban and motorway traffic management and control systems, electronic toll collection and route navigation systems. In the UK, innovITS provides a platform to bring together industry thinking, to stimulate collaborative working across ITS industries and services and to inform the direction of ITS research and development.
Another technology being developed which aims to improve road safety is Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA). ISA systems inform the driver of the speed limit for the road they are travelling on and automatically reduce the speed of the vehicle.
E-call automatically alerts the emergency services to the location of an accident and is a system widely used in other countries.
Driver Assistance Systems such as Electronic Stability Control and Emergency Brake Assist are systems that function automatically with no interaction with the driver and will improve the safety of the vehicle in use.
Implementation of these systems requires continued co-ordinated work between all stakeholders involved to ensure that all information is available.
What does the term telematics mean?
Telematics refers to the exchange of data over a wireless communications network. For drivers, it is now most commonly seen in applications like satellite navigation systems. These systems are commonplace, and are no longer just the preserve of higher end luxury models. Satellite navigation is now available on almost any car in any showroom, and as an aftermarket fit for older vehicles.
Does new technology mean more expensive new cars?
New technology is appearing all the time – just think how cars have changed over the last 30 years, yet they still remain affordable modes of transport.
Is the motor industry moving slowly in developing new environmental technology?
The UK motor industry has been transformed during the last decade and while for many it may still conjure images of rust-belt industrial decay, the reality is that the design, development and manufacture of motor vehicles is an engine of economic growth and the creator of high value, highly skilled jobs. The motor industry is already tackling climate change. Although it is true that legislation may set targets, it is consumer choice that will dictate the actual pace of change. The demand for lower carbon vehicles is increasing.
Are electric vehicles definitely the way forward?
The overall impact of any fuel used must be considered – if the battery energy results from fossil-fuelled power stations, then the overall gain is questionable. Electric vehicles are one option to be considered alongside hybrids and low emitting petrol and diesel models.
What about the implementation of other alternative fuels that have been discussed in the past – biofuel and LPG?
There is a place in the market for all types of fuel as different technologies will meet the needs of different driving situations. Consumers need to have the refuelling infrastructure available to them so that they can utilise the technology. Incentives for the take up of lower carbon technology are important for consumers in order to reduce their carbon footprint.
UK automotive supplier GKN has agreed a deal that will see Formula One technology fitted to 500 buses across the UK. As part of a supply deal with national bus operator Go-Ahead, GKN will provide vehicles with its innovative Gyrodrive electric flywheel technology, which will help to reduce emissions in cities.Read more
Government has today launched a £10 million competition for UK cities to host a driverless cars trial, which will see fully autonomous vehicles take to the streets from January 2015.Read more
The automotive and finance industries must work to change the process for manufacturing new technologies in large quantities, a panel of experts at the 2014 SMMT International Automotive Summit has suggested.Read more
Electrification and hydrogen fuel cell technology will both be instrumental in powering vehicles in the near future. This was the message delivered as Kevin E Layden, Global Director of Powertrain Engineering for Ford Motor Company, and Frank Meijer, Head of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle at Hyundai Motor Europe, debated strategies for advanced propulsion at the 2014 SMMT International Automotive Summit.Read more
SMMT’s prestigious Award for Automotive Innovation, which rewards the most ground-breaking ideas from all areas of the UK automotive sector, is returning for a fifth year.Read more
UK government, alongside automotive manufacturers Ford, Cummins, GKN and JCB will invest £133 million in powertrain development projects to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.Read more
Jaguar Land Rover has accorded a prestigious 2014 Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade, for its outstanding overseas sales growth over the last three years.Read more
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, has announced that the Technology Strategy Board has awarded £11 million to five UK automotive manufacturers to fund ground-breaking low emission vehicle technology projects to reduce emissions.Read more
Two thirds of annual heavy commercial vehicle registrations risk severe delays from 29 October. Industry experts say more than 20,000 vehicles a year will not have either full EU or UK national approvals without urgent action by the bodybuilding industry.Read more
The UK automotive manufacturing industry is already responding to Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget announcement, which called for the country to produce and export more. This week, a number of car, commercial vehicle and engine manufacturers have announced new investments and business contracts.Read more
A briefing paper on the Final Report of the Trade and Industry Select Committee’s inquiry into the success and failure of UK car manufacturingRead more
The DfT “Low Carbon Transport Innovation Strategy” was published alongside the Energy White Paper 2007. It forms the basis of the transport element of the White Paper.Read more
The Planning White Paper details proposals for reform of the planning system, building on both Barker’s recommendations for improving efficiency and effectiveness in land use planning, and Sir Rod Eddington’s proposals for reform of infrastructure planning.Read more
Detailed analysis of the UK Budget 2007Read more