Project: Technology Watch

Reference: S0714/V6

Last update: 18/12/2008 10:53:12


The objective of this project is to provide the Department with a regularly updated database that acts as a resource of information on developments in the field of new vehicle technologies. This will be used by the Department to:

. Identify technologies where the Department needs to play an active role to coordinate and encourage their uptake,
. Identify the potential benefits and risks of each technology,
. Identify potential research projects that the Department may wish to support,
. Assist the Department to develop policy in this area and to respond to ministerial questions on vehicle technologies,
. Identify conferences, workshops, working groups that may be of interest,
. Identify where legislative measures or codes of practice may be necessary to encourage/enable the introduction of new technologies, to set minimum performance criteria and
. Identify barriers to implementation


The development of advanced driver assistance systems and new vehicle technologies has been rapid and is likely to continue at an increasing pace. This has led to the introduction of technologies onto vehicles that have the potential to significantly improve safety, reduce congestion and improve the environment. Given the rapid rate of change, it is difficult for the Department to identify where to direct resources to meet its policy objectives.

To overcome these difficulties, and allow the Department to take informed policy decisions, there is a need for a process that will alert us to the latest research and developments and inform us of any reports and news items that may add to our understanding of advanced driver assistance systems, in vehicle information systems, etc. To achieve this, the Department intends to initiate a 'technology watch' programme to provide regular updates or bulletins to the Department giving a summary of recent activities and developments and identifying new technologies and research. This will ensure the Department is able to develop policies based on the latest available information and, if necessary, identify how best to coordinate the introduction of new technologies in the UK.


TRL Limited
Crowthorne House, Nine Mile Ride, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 3GA
+44 (0)1344 773131

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £150,486.65

Actual start date: 02 February 2008

Actual completion date: 31 March 2010

Summary of results

  1. The Techwatch database holds links to various data sources such as hyperlinks and journal articles on primary vehicle safety technologies. These research sources have been used for various research projects and can be used in future if appropriate.