KITT from Knight Rider, the Aston Martin DB5 from James Bond and even Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, all cars with character and more than a few optional extras installed. The real world of cars might not yet feature those which can fly, have super pursuit mode or an ejector seat, but, as students from South Essex College discovered, designers do have a few surprises up their sleeves.
Motor Vehicle students at the College’s Basildon Campus were recently visited by Graham Noakes, a Senior Technician at Sytner BMW in Harold Wood.
Graham gave the students a talk about electronic communication within a modern vehicle. The packed hall learnt about the advancements in technology and the new features of cars such as self-parking, massage chairs and vehicles that automatically slow down when you approach a speed camera.
IMI Level 2 Vehicle Maintenance and Repair student, Carrieanne Fisher, 17, from Basildon said: “It was interesting to hear about all the new developments that are happening at the moment, let alone what will happen in a few years time. I think we’ll end up like cars like the ones out of the film ‘I, Robot’!”
The students learnt about the impact these new systems have on safety, legislation and the economy and were also given the chance to ask questions at the end where they discussed how little drivers will need to do in the future.
Motor Vehicle student Peter Kulla, 17, from Grays said: “I have a very curious mind when it comes to vehicles so today has been fascinating. There are so many new systems coming in but I’m interested in how this would affect the performance of the car. I could sit here all day and ask Graham questions.”
A former student at the College, Graham completed his Certificate of Management qualification at the former Thurrock and Basildon College and has also achieved Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) status. The senior technician is a great example of the opportunities a career in the Motor Vehicle industry can bring having worked all over the world in Hong Kong, Holland, Armenia and Africa.
He said: “The future of vehicles is very exciting and it’s great the students seemed really interested too. These are the people that will repair our cars in the future so it’s good for them to learn about all these developments that will most likely come around as standard in their lifetime.”
Along with Vehicle Maintenance and Repair courses currently offered at the College, from September 2011 two new courses in Performance Engineering will be available for those who wish to be motorsports mechanics or motorsports engineers.
Graham continued: “Many of the advancements I’ve talked about today are being developed within the F1 motor racing industry, which is a very exciting career path.”