The Show delivered on its longstanding goal to demonstrate the industry’s latest technological innovations at the show, with a particular focus on safety improvements.
On the Show’s ‘forecourt,’ a host of VIPs – from HRH Prince Michael of Kent to former Stig and current stunt driver Ben Collins – and visitors took part in very hands-on demonstrations of one of the latest and most significant safety technologies, Automated Emergency Braking (AEB), as part of an awareness drive pioneered by the Stop the Crash Partnership. Visitors were invited to take to the passenger seat of an AEB-enabled car and actually feel the technology in action as the car automatically braked to a stop as its driver accelerated towards the rear of a (blow-up) parked car.
The London Motor Show was keen to encourage young visitors’ interest in the engineering world with displays such as the Bloodhound SSC land speed record car.
In 2008, Richard Noble, Andy Green and their team announced that they planned to smash the existing World Land Speed Record of 763mph (set by Andy Green and team in 1997 with the Thrust SSC) by reaching speeds over 1,000mph. And so the Bloodhound project began – with the aim of inspiring a new generation of engineers in the process.
The Bloodhound team displayed a model of the rocket- and jet-powered vehicle (due to attempt the record in October 2017), and their team were on hand to show visitors what a career in engineering can look like…
Transport for London
Hana Caselton, Project Manager for Transport for London said: “Transport for London was pleased to be a part of the London Motor Show 2016; promoting ultra low emission vehicles and road safety initiatives. The show enabled us to raise awareness of the range of cleaner vehicle technology now available which we encourage people to use in London. The ability to speak directly to motorists and road users was a great benefit and their enthusiasm for our work was even better”.
Many fuel alternatives on display
The electric vehicles on display at the Show were a big draw for many. Electric car pioneers, Tesla, reported an extremely busy weekend of enquiries and test drives, and deposits for the hotly anticipated Tesla Model 3, due to be released in 2017, were made on the spot.
Riversimple is another company fiercely dedicated to producing a new type of electric car to change the landscape of motoring. Riversimple showcased their hydrogen fuel cell-powered Rasa at the Show, attracting much interest from visitors. The company is currently crowdfunding investment to support production of the prototype, and its hydrogen refilling stations, in 2018.
The three-wheeled all-electric Morgan EV3, currently in pre-production, is a different take on the battery powered vehicle, taking its inspiration from 1930s aero-engine racing cars and classic motorcycles.
The Lightning EV1, a classically-styled all-electric sports car, took pride of place on the ‘forecourt’ of The London Motor Show.
“Potentially a genuine replacement for petrol- and diesel-powered superminis and family runarounds” according to a recent review in Auto Express Magazine, the Nissan Leaf attracted much attention from visitors at the Show interested in electric alternatives.
The London Motor Show even featured a solar powered car!
Durham University Electric Motorsport (DUEM) is made up of around 50 undergraduate and post-graduate students from Durham University’s School of Engineering and Computer Sciences, who design, build and race electric racing cars. The group started in 2002 and are reportedly the longest running solar electric car team in the UK.
Tiff Needell hosted Q&A sessions with DUEM’s Head of Business, Tobias McBride, to a packed out lecture theatre during the Show where he talked about the team’s upcoming challenge – racing their solar electric car against others from around the world in the World Solar Challenge in Australia next year.