Cars, kids and things

Jason Ford

Wednesday marks Science Capital’s 2012 Advanced Materials Meeting entitled Smart, Safe and Sustainable: driving into the future.

Taking place in Birmingham, the event invites attendees to discuss new automotive technologies; widen their connections with researchers, investors and business experts, and consider ways in which this high value market can be taken forward in Britain.

The organizers say - and The Engineer concurs - that the UK is experiencing significant levels of international investment and major commitments to building new vehicles.

Science Capital adds that the government has committed over £450m to position the UK at the forefront of the development and manufacture of ultra-low carbon vehicles and that in the next 20 years over £150bn will be invested in low carbon vehicle technologies to meet global demand.

Still with cars and a lecture taking place this week that will address the challenges facing experts seeking to develop driver-less cars.

In publicity material Brighton University says Prof Elias Stipidis will deliver his inaugural lecture on 15 March, considering the obstacles that have to be overcome to make ‘drive by wire’ cars commercially viable.

Prof Stipidis’ lecture, entitled Electronic Architectures: Organising vehicle sub-systems, is expected to provide an insight into the work of vehicle electronics (or vetronics) researchers who, in the past decade, have transformed the idea of the motor vehicle by integrating mechanical and electrical/electronic components in one engine.

Despite progress, however, Prof Stipidis will argue that there are many challenges that a drive-by-wire capability in cars has to overcome to be commercially viable. They include technological, legal, safety and human factors.

Switching themes now for a quick look at The Engineer’s website, which returns a total of five articles that contain the expression ‘internet of things’.

That could be because the so-called internet of things is a burgeoning suite of technologies that aims to connect common ‘things’ - such as cars or smart meters - to the internet in order to optimise them.

Taking place over two days this week, Digital London will explore the internet of things, which the organisers claim will lead to the Smart world - smart cities, smart grids, smart buildings and smart infrastructure.

Taking place at the Excel Centre, Digital London will bring together industry figures to discuss related issues, including sessions on the importance of supporting and investing in Smart Infrastructure with presentations from Bill Murphy, MD Next Generation Access at BT and Simon Giles, director of Intelligent Cities Strategy at Accenture.

The organisers add that there will also be information on the development of new city frameworks and the ways in which technology will start to shape and influence infrastructure rather than conforming to it.

Click here to read about a £5m TSB-funded initiative to establish data-sharing network.

Futuristic technology gives way to future engineers and news that BAE Systems is launching its 2012 Engineering Roadshow tomorrow at a school in Camberwell.

The defence company says the Roadshow - delivered in partnership with the RAF - forms a key part of its activity to recruit talented young people into its apprentice programmes.

The Roadshow will tour over 240 schools and come into contact with 25,000 young people across the UK, targeting underperforming inner-city schools in response to the low uptake of STEM.

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