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• Glasgow University mechanical engineering student, Lewis Campbell, named as winner of prestigious Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award
• Winning entry proposed a new way of using blockchain technology to deter car cloning
• This year’s award marks a decade of support for young talent in the automotive industry
• Find out more here:

The winner of the 10th annual Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award 2018 has been revealed at a ceremony hosted by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Lewis Campbell, a first-year mechanical engineering student at Glasgow University, won the prestigious prize with his proposal to tackle vehicle cloning using blockchain technology.

Lewis’ concept of storing vehicle information using blockchain technology – effectively creating a digital ledger – rather than via physical checks and documents such as the VIN or V5C documents, would make cloning vehicles much harder for criminals.

The prestigious Next Generation Award gives entrants a platform on which to build or develop a career in the automotive industry, with several past winners and finalists having gone on to successful careers in the sector over the past decade.

As part of the winner’s prize, Lewis will undertake five month’s work experience with the award’s sponsors, including Horiba MIRA, Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren Automotive, Nissan and Toyota.

Winner Lewis Campbell said: “I’m overwhelmed to have been chosen as the winner of this year’s Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award.

The Next Generation has rewarded a succession of inspiring innovations over the past 10 years, and it is a great honour to have been selected to join that list.

“As a car enthusiast, it is with great excitement that I will be starting my work experience with some of the biggest names in the industry. I can’t wait to get stuck in and become fully immersed in the automotive world.”

Lewis’ pitch was based on the installation of a near-field communication chip in cars. It would feature a frequency-changing algorithm that would deter hackers and would communicate with a smartphone in close proximity. The smartphone would then scan the vehicle information from the chip and, via blockchain, store it in a server hosted by the manufacturer.

Vehicle cloning affects tens of thousands of drivers a year, with fraudsters using cloned cars to commit crimes, or selling stolen vehicles with false papers to unsuspecting buyers. With an electronic record, safeguarded by blockchain technology, fraudsters would have a much tougher time cloning a vehicle.

Lewis competed against two other finalists, both of whom were commended for their innovative ideas.
Daniel Wilcox, a first-year automotive engineering student at Cardiff University, was applauded for his idea to create a double pulsating hazard light that would make it easier to distinguish from a turn signal.
Advertising graduate Robert Cameron came up with the idea of a web-based system that would allow consumers to realistically compare their current car’s performance against a new vehicle.

Martin Bohling, Global Managing Partner at Courland Automotive, said: “We’ve reached a huge milestone with the Next Generation Award having now run for a decade.

In the last 10 years, we’ve seen some incredible entries, and have witnessed some very talented people find their way into the automotive industry. ”

Autocar Editor-in-Chief, Steve Cropley, said: “Once again, we saw an incredible breadth of talent enter the competition. Many of the entrants came up with some truly innovative ideas that left the judges deeply impressed.

“Coming up with a list of three finalists was hard, and it was an even harder to narrow it down to a single winner. Lewis’ idea was not only innovative and unique, but it also aptly reflects the change we have seen in the last 10 years, with the industry rapidly embracing new and innovative technologies.

“It was an honour to once more work with all of the finalists, and I want to congratulate them all again.”

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Notes to Editors:

Award partners:
Courland Automotive
Horiba Mira
Jaguar Land Rover
McLaren Automotive
Toyota GB

About Autocar

Autocar is the essential news, reviews, entertainment and reference title for committed car buyers and enthusiasts everywhere.

It specialises in revealing the secrets of new cars, while its famous road tests are used by the industry and consumers alike as the authoritative benchmark.

Autocar’s readers are recognised as the most influential in the UK. The knowledge they glean from the magazine and pass on leads to thousands of car purchases a year.

Autocar now has 13 editions worldwide, and its fast-growing website means Autocar now has 3.3 million readers a month, viewing 12.9 million pages.

Meanwhile, Autocar’s YouTube channel has become the most authoritative motoring video site in the world, garnering more than 250 million views and 550,000 subscribers.

About the award

The Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award was launched in 2009 by Autocar in partnership with Courland Automotive and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and was set up to find and nurture bright new talent for the automotive industry. Ten years on it has touched thousands of people and is regarded as the leading competition of its type.

The Next Generation Award challenges young talent to come up with a problem-solving idea or innovation that will improve the UK automotive business.

A team of industry judges assesses entrants ideas based on innovation, technical and commercial viability, and how easily the innovations can be implemented. The winner receives a £8,000 prize plus a five-month work experience placement shared between the award sponsors.

The award is open to anyone aged between 17 and 25, as long as they reside in the UK or study at a UK school, college or university. All entrants must be eligible to work in the UK and be available for work experience.

Entries are put through an early round judging process that’s carried out by senior industry professionals. Six finalists will then be given a mentoring session with a partner judge before being invited to a presentation day based in Teddington, Middlesex. The winner will be announced at the Annual Dinner of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Tuesday, 27 November.

For further media information please contact Performance Communications

Natasha Perry
T: 0208 541 3434
M: 07917 681551

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