Over 170 delegates attended the 22nd ICFM Annual National Members’ Conference on autonomous vehicles
Over 170 members and guests attended the 22nd Institute of Car Fleet Management (ICFM) annual national members’ conference on ‘Autonomous vehicles – their future impact on legislation and fleet policy’ at the Henry Ford College, Loughborough, on November 25. Keynote speaker was Hugh Dickerson from Google and guest speaker was racing driver and TV personality, Tiff Needell, who also presented the training awards to ICFM members. The ICFM conference was kindly hosted by Ford Motor Company and co-sponsored by FMG, the UK’s largest independent incident prevention and fleet management services provider. Support conference partners were Enterprise Rent-A-Car, British Car Auctions and Alphabet.
Newly-elected chairman of the ICFM, Paul Hollick declared: “This year’s conference was the best yet and the autonomous vehicles theme proved thought-provoking for the delegates who attended. From the panel session to Hugh Dickerson’s keynote speech, there was much for them to take away and consider for future fleet policy. Our guest speaker Tiff Needell proved an entertaining draw and took pleasure in presenting the awards to trainees. In the past year, training has increased by around 30 per cent. And our thanks went to our outgoing chairman Roddy Graham who has significantly helped elevate our profile over the past eight years. As always, the ICFM definitely delivered on its motto of raising the fleet standard.”
The sponsors’ welcome saw Phil Hollins, fleet director, Ford of Britain provide an informative insight into recent and forthcoming new car launches as well as technological developments including City Stop and Perpendicular Parking while Andrew Cope, executive chairman of FMG got delegates in the mood for the panel discussion by sharing his thoughts on the digital revolution.
The ‘in-dialogue’ session, moderated by Peter Eldridge, left delegates wanting more. Some of the insightful comments made by the expert panel included:
“How we drive cars in the next 20 years will change more than the way we have done in the past 80 years.” – Dr Nick Reed DPhil (Oxon) CPsychol principal human factors researcher, TRL Senior Academy Fellow.
“Consumer led technologies is the key enabler.” – Richard Brown, advanced project group manager Ford.
“Technology is changing so fast. The readiness to accept new technology will increase with greater usage and availability.” – Bob Holbrey, group IT director, FMG.
“Technology starts in the high end product. The more experience we have in it, the more trust we have. Most of the autonomous vehicle technology is here now; the challenge is to get it in more cars.” – Gerry Keaney, chief executive, BVRLA.
“The new challenge for big data is rationalising the complexity of packages, which is having an impact on residual values. We refer to the analogy of spaceships colliding with dinosaurs when talking about new and used car buyers.” – Craig Purvey, general manager corporate development, British Car Auctions.
“A greater number of people do not require ownership, making solutions accessible for different groups.” – Adrian Bewley, head of business rental UK, Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
After lunch, Tiff Needell, former racing driver and current co-presenter of Fifth Gear proved an amusing guest speaker with his many anecdotes of life in F1 and sports cars not to mention TV work. He also presented the 2014 ICFM awards.
Rounding off the packed programme, keynote speaker Hugh Dickerson, senior industry head automotive at Google, gave an interesting and informative insight into the rapid developments in technology and social media and their application in the retail and automotive sector plus an overview of Google’s autonomous vehicle testing programme, which has seen its test cars cover over 700,000 accident-free miles. He reminded the audience that, in terms of technology, “today is the slowest day for the rest of our lives.”
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Notes to Editors:
The Institute of Car Fleet Management is the UK's only independent not-for-profit organisation dedicated to furthering the education, recognising the achievements and advancing the profession of car fleet management.
Established in 1992, the Institute connects people involved in car fleet management, promotes excellence in car fleet management practices and delivers the industry sector’s premier education programmes. Externally accredited vocational qualifications include the Introductory Certificate, the Certificate and the Diploma in Car Fleet Management.
ICFM is winner of the first Fleet News Training Award 2010.
For more information, visit www.icfm.com