Automotive Design Symposium

Brian Anthony Clough, John Mair, Andrew Noakes

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

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    The Automotive Design Symposium is part of the 20th Anniversary of Coventry achieving University status. The symposium is the main academic/industry-only focus of Coventry Car Day, an event which is open to the general public. The Automotive Design Symposium will comprise a number of short, insightful and provocative talks by influential figures from the Automotive Design industry. The symposium is intended to promote debate about the future of the automobile towards 2050. Various projections paint a gloomy picture about the future growth of the motor car and its impact upon world resources. Yet it might be argued that legislation used to define the current motor car is rooted in last century’s technology. The theme of the symposium is therefore a simple one but one which is bound to generate complex answers. The Theme: ‘Future Car - the Evolution of the Automobile to 2050’ Current automotive design and manufacture is bound by legislation which may militate against potential potential advances made possible by new technology. The legislative framework may be hindering the creation smaller, lighter, safer vehicles that may incorporate autonomous guidance and collision mitigation systems. The number of cars on the planet is predicted to at least double by 2050 and ‘peak oil’ may already have been reached so such advances may be necessary to make the car more sustainable. This symposium will pose the question(s), “What would be possible if we were able to design the 2050 motor car based on emerging technologies and more accommodating legislation. Can the personal car be made more sustainable or will there a different business model for personal transport? What will it be like, this “Future Car”. Speakers will include people who are expanding the current state of the art as well as those currently working within the existing frameworks.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2012

    Bibliographical note

    Author's note: The Symposium will draw together speakers from different disciplines to discuss a common theme. There is general agreement that the Automotive industry is unsustainable in its current form so for the first time we will see the thoughts and ideas of experts in a single venue with a mixed audience.
    Speakers include:
    • Professor Madeleine Atkins, CBE, Vice Chancellor Coventry University (Welcome Address)
    • Sir John Egan, Industrialist and Chancellor Coventry University (Keynote Speech)
    • Professor David Bailey, Professor of International Business Strategy and Economics - Coventry University Business School (Drivers of Change in the Auto Industry)
    • Steve Cropley, Editor in Chief – Haymarket Motoring Magazines (Autocar), Visiting professor in Automotive Design Journalism Coventry School of Art & Design (Everything’s changing in automotive journalism — except its extreme importance to the industry’s future)
    • Professor Peter White, Professor of Thermofluid Dynamics – Faculty of Engineering and Computing, Coventry University (Carbon Reduction and the Influence on Automobile Design)
    • Professor John Jostins Professor of Sustainable Transport Design, Coventry University and founder of Microcab Industries Ltd. (Prospects for a New Mobility)
    • Damian Harty, Senior Research Fellow, Vehicle & System Dynamics - Faculty of Engineering and Computing, Coventry University (Dynamic Obstacles and Solutions to Novel Vehicle Layouts)
    • Dr. Geoff Le Good, Automotive Aerodynamicist and Director GL Aerodynamics (The Teardrop Explodes)
    • Nick Hull, Transport Design Course Director - Department of Industrial Design, Coventry School of Art & Design (also Director at NHD Ltd and Associate Editor at Car Design News Ltd) (Using Future Scenarios – a glimpse into Perpetual Motion and Urban Colonies)
    • Richard Seymour, Designer and Design Director Seymourpowell, (Closing Presentation)
    It is hoped that the symposium will provoke cross-disciplinary debate and possibly lead to new avenues of research and development. It may also set the agenda or themes for a fully refereed conference on the Future of Automotive and Transport Design which may take place in the summer of 2013. The symposium took place as part of Coventry Car Day on 9 June 2012. Two podcasts of the symposium itself compiled by Nick Hull, Automotive Design lecturer are available at: and


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