SMMT launches Motor Industry Facts 2017

SMMT has launched its comprehensive guide to all things UK Automotive, Motor Industry Facts 2017.

From vehicle registrations and production, to supply chain, CO2 and Brexit SMMT’s Motor Industry Facts provides all the latest data and background information on the UK automotive industry.

The 34-page guide is a one-stop-shop covering all of the latest statistics relevant to the sector including answers to questions such as:

  • What is the contribution of the sector to the UK economy and jobs?
  • How many cars, vans, trucks and engines are built in the UK and where do we build them?
  • How much have CO2 emissions fallen by since 2000?
  • How will connected and autonomous vehicles improve our society?

For all this information and much more, download SMMT Motor Industry Facts 2017 here.

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‘Connected & Digital Technology Zone’ to highlight industry innovations at Automechanika Birmingham

Automechanika Birmingham will host the Connected & Digital Technology Zone on stand 6B11 with The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) demonstrating the latest cutting-edge automotive technologies throughout the event from 6–8 June 2017.

The area, found in the supply chain zone, will feature the latest products set to enable the design, development and manufacture of future vehicles.
Visitors will have access to the most up-to-date technological information and solutions including virtual and augmented reality, as well as brand new vehicles and robotics.

Automechanika Birmingham 2016

The vast array of interactive elements that can be found in the zone will include the new Range Rover Velar from Jaguar Land Rover, the Kuka robot from REECO andthe Vive virtual reality headset allowing visitors to look at the interior of a virtual car brought along by Optis. Semcon will bring HoloLens augmented reality glasses to present a new solution to deliver service information to the automotive workshop, demonstrated with a Range Rover Evoque.

Warwick Manufacturing Group will have an innovative technology demonstrator on hand from the DELIVER-E project in the form of an electric delivery vehicle prototype based on the body of a Renault Twizy, while Nottingham University will display its facial recognition software whereby the emotions of the driver are captured and shown via a graph on screen.

Meanwhile, both Renishaw and Adient will be showcasing their newest technologies with the former introducing an additively manufactured metal car component on stand, and the latter demonstrating its advanced seating commodities.

Simon Albert, event director of Automechanika Birmingham, said: “With technology developing at a rapid rate and showing no signs of slowing down, the Connected & Digital Technology Zone is one of the most exciting attractions at the event. We are looking forward to showcasing the future of the automotive industry to visitors and the many benefits available as we move forward together.”

Visitors looking for a chance to update their knowledge, network with new and existing contacts and discover the benefits of new automotive technology can register free for the event by CLICKING HERE.

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Autonomous refuse truck begins live trials

A Swedish waste and recycling company has begun trials of a fully autonomous dustbin lorry, which it claims will increase the safety and environmental benefits of weekly waste collections.

The truck, which is being tested in Gothenburg by waste and recycling operator Renova, attains autonomy by first being driven on a refuse collection route manually and then ‘remembering’ the route.

As a result, the truck knows when to start, stop, turn and reverse, allowing operatives to go about the task of waste collection without having to continually jump on and off the truck.

The system, developed by Volvo Trucks in conjunction with Renova, uses similar autonomous systems to those fitted in an autonomous tipper the truck maker developed for the Kristineberg stone mine last November.

The first time the automated refuse truck is used in a new area, it is driven manually while the on-board system constantly monitors and maps the route with the help of sensors and GPS technology. The next time the truck enters the same area, it knows exactly which route to follow and at which bins it has to stop.

At the first stop with the automated system activated, the driver climbs out of the cab, goes to the rear of the truck, brings out the wheelie-bin and empties it in exactly the way the job is done today. When the operation is completed, the truck automatically reverses to the next bin upon receiving the driver’s command. The driver walks the very same route that the truck takes and thus always has full view of what’s happening in the direction of travel.

“By reversing the truck, the driver can constantly remain close to the compactor unit instead of having to repeatedly walk between the rear and the cab every time the truck is on the move,” said Hans Zachrisson, Strategic Development Manager at Renova. “And since the driver doesn’t have to climb in and out of the cab at every start and stop, there’s less risk of work related injuries such as strain on the knees and other joints.”

Reversing is otherwise a fairly risky manoeuvre since the driver may find it difficult to see who or what is moving behind the vehicle – even if it is fitted with a camera. Since sensors monitor the area all around the refuse truck, if the street is blocked by a parked car, the refuse truck can automatically drive around the obstruction provided there is sufficient space alongside. The automated systems also optimise gear changes, steering and speed, meaning fuel consumption and emissions can be reduced.

The project will continue until the end of 2017 and will be followed by an extremely thorough evaluation of functionality, safety and how well the vehicle is accepted by drivers, waste operatives, other road users and local residents.

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World’s largest biogas bus fleet enters service in Nottingham

The biggest fleet of biogas powered buses in the world has gone into service in Nottingham this week.

The £17m fleet of Scania double-deckers will be powered by a biogas produced from sewage and waste, via anaerobic digestion.

Gary Mason, Nottingham City Transport (NCT) Director, said, “We are hugely proud of our new biogas buses. This is the largest order for gas double decks in the world and is the culmination of our extensive research into alternative fuels.”

The move towards biogas vehicles began last July when NCT, working in partnership with Nottingham City Council, successfully bid to receive £4.4m in funding from government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

Since then, and with a further investment of £12.4m from NCT itself, the bus operator has worked closely with manufacturers Scania and body maker Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), together with local companies Roadgas and ZF Transmissions, to create a sustainable biogas infrastructure at the city’s Parliament Street Garage, where the new fleet is based.

NCT’s first 30 bio-gas buses began operating on routes 6, 10, 24, 25 and 44 this week, with a further 23 buses being added to the fleet early next year on routes 36 and 45. The buses all include free WiFi and USB charging points.

The Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA)’s Chief Executive, Charlotte Morton, added, “Scania’s new Bio-Gas buses are a great example of the effectiveness of biomethane as a low-carbon, low-cost transport fuel that can help to reduce the levels of air pollution we see in towns and cities across the UK.”

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