Future of technology R&D is mapped by Foresight Vehicle

18 October 2004 #SMMT News

A new Technology Roadmap, prepared by Foresight Vehicle, will shape the future of technology R&D in the UK.

The report, created after consultation with over 100 scientists and engineers from more than 50 organisations, highlights the areas of focus that will keep the UK at the forefront of global automotive research well into the 21st century. These include:

• Reducing emissions, encouraging re-use of waste and vehicle recyclability

• Preventing accidents and limiting the effect of an impact with a vehicle

• Smart technologies to improve security for example reduced key theft

• Measures to prevent the use of vehicles in acts of terrorism

• Developing an infrastructure to complement telematics advances

Showcased at this week’s World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems in Japan, the report also warns of failing to invest in projects to improve efficiency and environmental performance. These are particularly important as emissions and end of life vehicle targets begin to bite.

SMMT manages the Foresight Vehicle project. Commenting on the report, SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said, ‘Last month the Trade and Industry Select Committee report on the automotive industry made clear that R&D expenditure in the UK has been falling since 1994. With this in mind, it is vital that we focus and support projects that will deliver real benefits to the UK and enhance our position as a major player on the global automotive stage. This is why the Roadmap is so important.’

Since 1996, £100m investment has been driven into the UK through Foresight Vehicle programmes. The Roadmap will now be used to identify the best use of funding up to and beyond 2025.

Foresight Vehicle director Dr Nick Barter added ‘This is an authoritative document which will help Britain’s automotive researchers to remain world leaders. The Technology Roadmap clearly defines our priority areas and will make sure research funds are used efficiently and cost-effectively.’

A full copy of the report’s findings can be found on the Foresight Vehicle web site:


1. Foresight Vehicle is the prime knowledge transfer network for the automotive industry, and is managed by SMMT with oversight by the SMMT Engineering Committee.

2. The Foresight Vehicle Technology Roadmap will be showcased at the 11th World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems in Nagoya, Japan from 18-22 October 2004.


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