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Industry news roundup - July 2022

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​There’s a symmetry to this month’s news roundup: at the senior end of the automotive and tech market, a top talent leaves Tesla while elsewhere the Formula Student competition—a proving ground for bright young minds—is won by students at Glasgow university. This month’s news also features a short film: you can sit back and enjoy the best of Goodwood Festival of Speed in less than thirty minutes. Read on!

Automotive & Motorsport

Goodwood Festival 2002 in < half an hour

If you like all things automotive, and especially all things motorsport, you’ll love this video, which distils this year’s fantastic Goodwood Festival of Speed down to 28 minutes and 37 seconds of motoring perfection. Highlights include Nigel Mansell driving his Williams FW14B ‘Red 5’ 1992 championship-winning F1 car, the new BMW M3 Touring on the Hill alongside 50 years of BMW M cars, and new road cars like the awe-inspiring A.I. designed Czinger 21C, which can hit 62mph in 1.9 seconds and top out at 281mph. Also featured: 75 years’ worth of Ferraris and the Porsche 963 LMDh car, unveiled to the world and running in public for the first time.

Watch it here:

Manufacturing & Tech

UltraFan® is coming

Rolls-Royce has entered the final build phase for the world’s largest aero-engine technology demonstrator, UltraFan, providing a suite of technologies to support sustainable air travel for decades to come.

The demonstrator engine has a fan diameter of 140 inches and is being completed in Derby prior to its first run – on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel – later this year. It offers a 25% fuel efficiency improvement compared with the first generation of Trent engine.

UltraFan supports a variety of sustainability solutions and provides a platform for the use of a diverse range of energy options and power systems – including current jet fuel and sustainable aviation fuels as well as future potential for hybrid-electric and hydrogen.


Future Tech

Johnson Matthey announces plan for £80m UK gigafactory to manufacture hydrogen fuel cell components.

Johnson Matthey (JM) is to build an £80-million gigafactory at its existing site in Royston, UK, to scale up the manufacture of hydrogen fuel cell components. Earlier this year, JM announced a refreshed strategy, with an ambition to be the market leader in performance components for fuel cells and electrolyzers, targeting more than £200 million sales in hydrogen technologies by end of 2024/25.

The APC forecasts that the UK will need 14GW of fuel cell stack production and 400,000 high pressure carbon fibre tanks annually to meet local vehicle production demands by 2035 while the market expects that there could be as many as 3 million fuel cell electric vehicles on the road globally by 2030. The investment will safeguard highly skilled manufacturing jobs in the UK. The site is expected to be in operation by 2024.


Exec & Leaders

Tesla's top Autopilot exec is leaving

Tesla’s top artificial intelligence executive and a key figure behind its driver-assistance system Autopilot has announced in a series of tweets that he is leaving the electric-car maker after a four-month sabbatical.

Andrej Karpathy joined Tesla in 2017 was senior director of AI. He led the Autopilot computer-vision team that's tried for years to make autonomous driving a reality for the brand.

Tesla’s Autopilot group has struggled to realize Elon Musk's autonomous ambitions. The CEO raised billions of dollars in 2019 after telling Wall Street Tesla would have 1 million robotaxis on the road the following year. The network of driverless cars Musk described still doesn't exist, and the systems Tesla markets as Autopilot and Full Self-Driving, or FSD, require fully attentive drivers to keep their hands on the wheel.



Glasgow University crowned champions in Formula Student 2022

University of Glasgow has won this year’s Formula Student 2022, held at Silverstone in July, beating dozens of teams of young engineers at one of the largest student motorsport competitions in Europe.

Glasgow Racing is the first team from Scotland to win the competition, while local rival Edinburgh University won the autonomous car event, which is rapidly growing in popularity. Runners up in the main event included the University of West of England (second place) and University of Malta (third place).

Run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Formula Student is the largest event in the organisation’s calendar and the most established educational engineering event in Europe. It tasks teams of university students to design, manufacture and run a single-seater race car, culminating in the finals event held at Silverstone.