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Proceedings of the 3rd IMechE Automobile Division Southern Centre Conference on: Total Vehicle Technology - Finding the Radical, Implementing the Practical

posted on 2023-06-08, 00:35 authored by Peter R N Childs, Richard K Stobart
All of the principal design methods require the vehicle producer to consider the applications, the users, available technologies and the context. Such processes are useful in providing the mantle within which design can occur. It is often stated how important initial conceptual design work is as this dictates the greater proportion of subsequent costly detailed design and developmental work. It is at this stage that all the elements relating to the design need to be broadly brought together. This may result, as is the case with the latest Landrover Defender, in a vehicle embracing available technologies and adhering to its core brand values to produce a praiseworthy vehicle. An alternative approach may be to push newer technologies as illustrated by the number of concept cars appearing utilising independent electric motor wheel drives. Of note, the former example relies on a traditional fuel, while the latter alludes to the possibility of widespread use of alternative energy sources. These examples illustrate the breadth of variation in design outcome and therein lies the challenge to engineers and designers who need to operate effectively within a changing and competitive market. The Total Vehicle Technology conference was conceived as an opportunity for consideration of the full scope of vehicle related issues. Although we may consider our professional decisions to be broad-minded, and that we do attempt to address and optimise the issues concerned, the realities of many working lives and practices dictate fast and all too often narrow expert approaches. The resulting solutions, although expedient, may inhibit a more creative approach. The Total Vehicle Technology 2004 conference has resulted in papers and presentations across a broad base ranging from energy issues, traffic infrastructure, human factors, powertrain, safety, to vehicle dynamics and control. It is possible that such a taxonomy of subjects, with its sub-division of activities is in its very nature contributing to the culture of narrow based activity in design. However, it is hoped that the drawing of such distinct subjects together will allow the delegates and readers of the proceedings to broaden perspectives and therefore contribute to the advancement of vehicle technology.


Publication status

  • Published


Professional Engineering Press





Place of publication

Bury St. Edmunds and London




IMechE Event Publications

Department affiliated with

  • Engineering and Design Publications


his is an edited book edited by Peter R N Childs, Richard K Stobart

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Peter R N Childs, Richard K Stobart

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