Introduction: A Car of the Future

Although car companies face heavy compe­tition and decreasing margins, it is still an attractive business. The costs are low, the benefits high and the market is still increas­ing. More people buy more cars and use them more often. The results of these devel­opments to the environment now become apparent through the effects of polluted air, noise and global warming. And although cars have become much cleaner in the past years, these developments do not compensate for the increase of use.

The Netherlands Society for Nature and Environment (SNM) has studied these devel­opments and initiated the development of a ‘car of the future’ at the 2007 AutoRai. In cooperation with the three Dutch Universities of Technology they develop a mobility con­cept for the year 2020.

The aim of this document is to present the goal, approach and vision for the develop­ment of this mobility concept that was estab­lished during the first two months of the proj­ect.

The current project name NEXUS stands for ‘network’, reflecting on different levels the key aspect of this project.

Goal and approach

The consumer market is driven by demand. Although new features and developments create demand, sustainable mobility solu­tions have only recently began to get noticed by the consumer.

This project therefore aims at the develop­ment of a sustainable mobility concept that appeals to the consumer and with that cre­ates demand for similar or derivative prod­ucts.

Here, it is clear that the aim is not to develop a product that is only sustainable on itself, but sustainable through its broad acceptance. This makes it important to create something that attracts the attention of consumers and the car industry and is desirable. Therefore it is important not to jump to ‘just another sporty hybrid’.

In a large and complex project such as a mobility concept it is vital to have a clear sense of direction with all stakeholders. With a vision statement, direction is given to all the developments needed to reach the goal. Driven by this vision, the three Dutch Universities of Technology work together in a multidisciplinary team in order to present a credible, feasible and sustainable mobility concept for 2020. Here Delft is responsible for Automotive Design, Eindhoven for Automotive Engineering and Twente for Automotive Infrastructure.

Automotive infrastructure

The Centre for Transport has a role in between the Automotive design of Delft and the real mechanical engineers in Eindhoven. The goal of CTS in this project is to get insights into:


future infrastructure


the role of a sustainable vehicle in a sustainability city


future ADAS

At this moment 4 students are working on new ADAS interfaces, visions on sustainability and furthermore the impacts of ADAS.

Msc and Bsc projects

At this moment 2 students are starting their Bsc projects. Jos Thalen (www.josthalen.nl) and Gertjan Endeman, both industrial design students are developing interfaces for respectively future ADAS systems and future hydrogen power trains. Both Jos en Gertjan will come up with working interfaces that will be shown on the AutoRai 2007.

Jeroen Terlouw, msc student Civil Engineering, is starting up a msc project on the sustainable city and the role of the Car of the Future within this sustainable city. The point of departure is that for years and years we adapted our society to the car. Why not adapt the car to our future sustainable cities.

Lucien de Baere, msc student Civil Engineering, is starting up his msc project on the impact of future ADAS on environmental and safety aspects.

General planning

The project consists of two evident deadlines: AutoRAI ‘07 and AutoRAI ‘09. On these car shows two successive mobility concepts are shown. In order to reach this goal, develop­ment has to go through the phases of vision development, concept development, engi­neering and manufacturing.


More information can be found on: http://www2.io.tudelft.nl/io1008595/index.php?id=51

For questions please mail: f.tillema@utwente.nl