FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 1996
Contact: Robert Q. Riley
P.O. Box 14465
Scottsdale, AZ 852678-2294
AUTHOR OF "ALTERNATIVE CARS IN THE 21ST CENTURY"
TO SPEAK AT "WORLD CAR CONFERENCE 96"
Future Cars Will Be Lighter, Safer, and Cleaner
SCOTTSDALE - Robert Q. Riley, author of
"Alternative Cars in the 21st Century: A New Personal Transportation Paradigm"
(Society of Automotive Engineers, 1994), will speak at the Opening Plenary Session of the
"World Car Conference 96" at the historic Mission Inn in downtown
Riverside, California, on Monday, January 21.
The conference is sponsored by the University of California,
Riversides College of Engineering - Center for Environmental Research and
Technology. It is the West Coasts most widely attended gathering of educators,
policy makers, and auto industry planners and executives. Mondays session is
entitled: "The Vehicle of the Future: Integration of Safety, Fuel Economy and
Emissions Standards Worldwide." Mr. Rileys talk will focus on the most likely
technologies for future cars, and how these new technologies will impact automobile
"One of the most elementary ways to get better fuel economy and
reduce emissions is to make cars lighter," said Riley. "And significantly
lighter cars burn significantly less fuel. Lighter cars also turn out to be naturally less
polluting because emissions are roughly proportional to the amount of energy (fuel)
consumed. There is an almost intuitive relationship between weight, energy consumption,
and pollution," said Riley.
A popular drawback to lighter cars is the widespread idea that lighter
cars are more unsafe. Statistically, a correlation does exist between reduced vehicle
weight and increased risk of harm. "But statistics also show that cars built today
are four times safer than those built in 1969, and they are 10 percent smaller and 20
percent lighter," said Riley. "Thats because of better engineering and
modern safety features. Any decrease in safety due to lighter weight can be countered by
better design. Over the next 25 years, a new generation of intelligent transportation
systems will revolutionize automobile safety and virtually eliminate crashes," said
"Smart restraint systems, devices that sense the weight and
position of occupants and adjust airbag deployment or tighten seat belts just prior to a
collision, will soon begin to show up on new cars. Looking farther out, say to 2005,
well begin to rely more on devices that warn drivers of unsafe conditions, such as
making a lane change in front of another car, or when two cars are approaching an
intersection on a collision course. By 2020, well be able to avoid most automobile
crashes with advanced systems that take control of the car and automatically brake or
steer around an impending collision, " said Riley.
According to Riley, cars will become increasingly smaller on the
outside without affecting interior room. This will be due to more power-intensive engines
and compact powertrains that do not take up as much of the car. "Ultimately, the
one-box design will prevail as the traditional hood and trunk projections are eliminated.
In effect, the outside of the car will shrink around the passenger area until the hood and
trunk projections entirely disappear," said Riley.
Robert Q. Riley is President of Robert Q. Riley Enterprises, LLC. , a product
design and development consulting firm in Scottsdale, Arizona. More information on
transportation, energy use, and the environment is available at Mr. Rileys web site
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