LONDON Two centres are to be set up with a £15million investment to help reduce traffic congestion and help tackle the effects of global warming. The aim is to bring Government, manufacturers and academia together in developing new technology.
The Fuel Cell and Low Carbon Technologies centre of excellence will be in based in Loughborough. It will work on hybrid vehicle systems to provide improved fuel efficiency as well as fuel cell vehicles which are set to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Geoff Callow, managing director of TEC is to be launch director of the centre.
The second centre will work on Intelligent Transport System (ITS) technologies will be developed at the new centre for Transport Telematics and Technologies for Sustainable Mobility, the location of which is set to be announced early in 2005.
ITS use information and telecoms technologies to tackle road congestion, safety, transport inefficiency and poor route use. Recent Telematics projects in Europe have cut road journey times, improved traffic information accuracy, reduced traffic accidents and increased motorway capacities.
The new centres were set up in response to recommendations made by the Automotive Innovation and Growth Team (AIGT) which committed £45 million to the automotive industry.
Both centres are receiving DTI funding as part of Government business support and innovation activity. They aim for self-sustainability within three to five years as they develop their services.
The DTI has commissioned technology transfer consultancy, Beta Technology, to project manage the initial launch of the two centres.