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Centre for Integrated Energy Research

Colloquium in "Future Automobility"

Please register interest in a Colloquium in "Future Automobility", Friday 2nd June, 2014 at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor (http://www.cumberlandlodge.ac.uk/). The day will consist of sessions led by leading experts finishing with a public lecture by a keynote speaker, followed by an evening meal. The full programme and speakers will be confirmed in early 2014. Cost is £45 including an evening meal, and there will be the opportunity to present your research as a poster. Contact Gillian Harrison (pmgh@leeds.ac.uk) for more details.

"Future Automobility: Does the Car have a Sustainable and Ethical Future?"

Car ownership has become synonymous with economic prosperity, personal independence and participation in mainstream society. But cars have detrimental impacts on society: pollution and social exclusion for non-car owners are two ongoing concerns. For good or for ill, the future of the car will play a key role in the future of society.

Future innovations in automotive technology and alterations in social practice have the potential to reduce the detrimental social and environmental impact of cars. Increasing levels of vehicle automation alongside the introduction of new fuels and powertrains have the potential to combine with novel forms of collective ownership to create a socio-technical transition which brings into question the prevailing model of car based mobility.

A number of challenges and potential barriers may hinder society from achieving this transition to a sustainable future for the car. There is a need to explore key issues such as power dynamics and governance to determine how policy can be structured to enable a smooth transition. Additionally, discussions are required on the topics of responsibility and social inclusion to explore if the future of the car is compatible with an equitable society.

‘Future Automobility’ will provide a multi-disciplinary perspective on these key issues, bringing together experts from a wide range of backgrounds and possessing differing opinions and skill-sets to help develop the mechanisms required for a smooth transition to a sustainable and ethical future for the car. This colloquium will ask tough questions about this coming transition, taking into account the possibility of disproportionate effects on different groups in society whilst investigating the implications for sustainability and exploring how potential transition barriers can be addressed.