Future of the Car


Some might say the car has become man's best friend; others his worst enemy.

Whichever side of the chasm you are on, the car cannot be ignored.

'The future of the car' is the subject of the next Cambridge Europe and Technology Club meeting which takes place on Thursday, 25 March 2004 at TWI Conference Centre, Granta Park, Cambridge (Finger buffet at 6:00pm. Talk at 6:30pm.)

We have moved on a long way from Henry Ford's memorable quotation 'you can have any color you want providing it's black'. The immediate future of the car seems to be better mpg, sexier shapes, 4-wheel-drive so you can effortlessly mount the curbs in city centres or see over peoples' fences.

The long-term future will be vastly different. Pollution controls will change the fuels we use: telematics may introduce driverless cars like the trains on the Docklands Light Railway: on board ICT may determine whether we use the car at all: other means of transport will perhaps displace the car as the personal transporter.

CETC committee member John Batten, who is chairing the seminar, has arranged two eminent authorities on this subject.

Professor Richard Folkson joined Ford Motor Company Limited as an undergraduate trainee from school, and gained a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College, London. He has worked in just about every aspect of Ford Product Development during his career.

His current responsibilities cover all Product Verification and Testing of Ford cars, commercial vehicles and engines designed in Europe, with a staff of around 1500 employees working in Britain, Germany and Belgium. The department uses road testing, laboratories and analytical methods to confirm that products are suitable to meet all customer needs before the start of mass production.

Richard is Chairman of the Essex Centre of the Automobile Division, Institution of Mechanical Engineers and Chairman of the Engineering Committee of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. He also lectures regularly at colleges and universities and was appointed Visiting Professor to the Department of Aerospace, Automotive and Design Engineering at the University of Hertfordshire in 2003. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and plays an active role in the development and training of young engineers.

Eric Sampson trained as a Chemist and worked for a number of years with the Science Research Council. He joined the Department for Transport in 1985 and held posts in the Marine, Public Transport and Network Management Directorates.

In 1993 he became Deputy Chief Scientist responsible for coordinating DfT interest in EC research and generally developing the contribution of science and technology to transport policies. He was also appointed Director of Road User Charging research.

In August 2000 he set up the new Transport Technology and Telematics Division in the DfT. He is now Head of the Vehicle Technology and Standards Division that combines 'new' ITS approaches with conventional vehicle safety engineering.

Eric served on the study group that led to the formation of ERTICO and was elected a member of the ERTICO Supervisory Board, then became its Deputy Chairman, and then Chairman. He was Chairman of the first ever World Congress Board that staged the 1994 event in Paris. He is a Fellow of the Transport Research Foundation.

Free to CETC members. 10 for non-members. Booking essential. To book, please send your name, company name, telephone number, e-mail address and cheque made payable to CETC (if required) to:

Guy Mulley, Hon Secretary, CETC

c/o NW Brown Employee Benefits

Richmond House

16-20 Regents Street, Cambs, CB2 1DB

Tel/Fax: 01223 720256

E-mail: honsec@cetc.info

To read more information, click here.

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Cambridge Enterprise and Technology Club (CETC)