At the intelligent transport conference in London, highly respected engineer Richard Parry-Jones made a bold prediction of what to expect by 2020 when it comes to fuel efficiency and carbon emissions. By the end of the decade, he expects that technology would be so efficient that they would be equivalent to that of the cleanest high-speed electric trains. Parry-Jones said that by 2020, the auto industry would already have been able to achieve 40g/km of tailpipe carbon, which results to 25g/km per passenger when the average number of occupants in cars - 1.6 - is part of the equation. He said that this number is similar to today's most-efficient electric trains. Parry-Jones added that this is a tremendous feat when you consider that the typical average was 140g/km in 2000.
He predicted that the future of the auto industry is made up of intelligent cars that communicate with each other and traffic management systems. He said that the future of auto manufacturing is related to networked vehicles under digital control. He now leads the industry-government Automotive Council and is currently the chairman-designate of Network Rail. Transport minister Justine Greening also made an appearance. The road network needed upgrading to cope with an increase in the market by 44. Greening said that this traffic increase would put this company under a lot of strain.
About £1.5billion will be used to improve national and local roads with a further £2.3bn designed for major roads. But then, future road improvements may depend on public-private finance initiatives. Greening said that the Treasury is looking to get more finance from private investors. The government hopes to convince British pensions funds to make investments in infrastructure in return for reliable, long-term financial returns. He pointed out that the upcoming vehicles have to use the roads “more intelligently." [source: Autocar]