The five working groups formed under the Automotive Council Technology Group banner are as follows:
Technology Roadmaps and Test Bed UK
This working group will generate a strategy and co-ordinate the four other working groups. Key activities are automotive R&D, supply chain and manufacturing capability and updating the passenger car low carbon vehicle ‘road map’, the strategic targets driving so many of the industry’s activities.
The Consensus Product Roadmap, mutually agreed by OEMs, defines future direction to develop products that will benefit UK plc.
Low Carbon Vehicle infrastructure development
New fuels and the shift to electric vehicles will be the responsibility of the second working group — Low Carbon Vehicle Infrastructure Development. This will create a link between the auto industry and infrastructure providers, such as local authorities and energy companies. This is vital if hydrogen, electricity and bio-fuels are to be made widely available for road transport in the future.
OEM and supplier R&D inward investment
Key to all auto industry activity is the supply chain of components suppliers. This working group will develop the supply chain to deliver the four main technology developments — more efficient IC engines, energy storage, lightweight structures and powertrains and power electronics. Developing the right conditions to encourage inward investment for R&D by OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers is a significant goal of this working group.
Funding and academic partnerships
A major target of the Automotive Council is to foster links between academia, industry and funding bodies. This will ensure that the right mix of research and funding can back-up the drive to develop the four main low carbon technology streams that are integral to the Automotive Council’s aims.
Intelligent transport system development
It is widely accepted that information technology (IT) should be deployed to strong effect in reducing the carbon output of road transport. This working group will work on solutions that integrate IT with the driver, vehicle and roadside infrastructure.
Focusing on information presentation in three areas — infrastructure-to-car, car-to-driver and infrastructure-to-driver, the working group will define and resolve customer and societal issues related to IT in vehicles.
A proposal for an ITS ‘road map’ as part of the drive to low carbon vehicles will be part of the working group’s remit.