Future of EVs Examined at ACES SIG Event

Silverstone Technology Cluster

2nd February 2020

Our Autonomous, Connected, Electrified and Shared (ACES) Special Interest Group (SIG) took a deep dive into the future of electrification at last week’s over-subscribed event. Kindly hosted by Hexagon, the event featured fascinating presentations providing a real glimpse into the future of the electric car.

We welcomed Oliver Larkin from Volkswagen Group UK who gave us a fascinating insight into Volkswagen Audi Group (VAG)’s strategic vision and technological developments as they head towards a future focused entirely on electric vehicles. The new VW ID3 EV enters the UK market in June, along with a promise to be the first of all VAG’s future EVs that are fully “lifespan carbon neutral”. VAG are fully committed to this disruptive vision that is likely to force global change across the automotive industry for years to come. “There is no Plan B” says Larkin.

We then heard from STC member Eatron Technologies, as its founder and MD, Dr. Umut Genc, shared his expertise on AI algorithms and how Eatron are utilising AI and Machine Learning algorithms in their Battery Management Software (BMS) to ensure the system can identify potential faults and problems well in advance of any issues occurring. As the “safety of AI is difficult to prove”, Umut explained how Eatron have developed technology that helps overcomes compliance nightmares for manufacturers looking to take AI into production, both for BMS as well as Level 2 autonomy vehicles.

Last but not least, our final speaker, Ian Featherstone of the Energy Saving Trust, then gave us a great overview of the adoption of electric and Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV) into fleets across the UK. Ian showcased how the adoption of ULEVs brings with it very different demands to fleet operators in terms of driver training, maintenance costs and schedules, as well as refuelling/charging strategies and costs, all of which are substantially different from “traditional” fleet management methodology. Ian further touched upon the 2nd hand ULEV car market, which sparked an interesting debate involving the audience. Ian’s statistical comparison between Diesel adoption back in the 80s and ULEV adoption now also proved fascinating.

As usual with our SIG events, there were many challenging questions and debates throughout the day while delegates also enjoyed the very engaging exhibit by STC member Cyclopic who demonstrated their outstanding Centreless Hollow Wheel Drive System.

Speakers and Presentations:

The Electric Car Revolution: It’s Happening Now! – Oliver Larkin, Volkswagen Group UK
AI algorithms in BMS and ADAS – Umut Genc, Eatron Technologies
Challenges in Fleet Adoption of EVs & the Used Car Market – Ian Featherstone, Energy Saving Trust

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