What's Stopping Us?

Silverstone Technology Cluster (STC) are set to welcome back our Future Mobility Special Interest Group (FM SIG) who’ll be coming together to offer their insights into the latest developments in the arena of Autonomous Vehicles.

What’s Stopping Us? will be an in-person event taking place at Silverstone Park where we’ll be taking an in-depth look at the barriers and issues preventing or slowing down the adoption of new, smart technologies in the automotive industry.

How much of the technology is already out there, and what are the human and regulatory barriers holding us back?

To try and pin down the most relevant points on a rapidly changing landscape, our expert speakers will include:

* James Long – TRL - Head of Technical Consulting at the Smart Mobility Living Lab (SMLL):

James is a transport technology and strategy specialist with more than 15 years consultancy experience in the specification, implementation, acceptance and assessment of Intelligent Transport Systems and new mobility modes. The past 5 years have included a particular focus on the policy and implementation questions associated with connected and autonomous vehicles, and other disruptive emerging modes and its integration into the public domain.

Established in 1933 as the UK government’s Road Research Laboratory, the renamed TRL — following privatisation in 1996 — has become a global centre for innovation in surface transport and mobility and comprises of a team of expert scientists, engineers and specialists working together with our clients and partners to create the future of transport. Our mission is to create clean and efficient transport that is safe, reliable and accessible for everyone. The TRL group of companies is owned by the Transport Research Foundation: a non-profit distributing company that enables our experts to give independent advice without influence from shareholders or finance companies.

The Smart Mobility Living Lab (SMLL) is a testbed run by TRL. The concept was co-created by an industry-government joint initiative as part of a multi-million-pound, on-going strategic investment in future transport options which will be more automated, and more carbon neutral. The ‘living lab’ is a research facility that is intrinsically part of its habitat. It is located on the public and private roads of London with all the extant traffic controls, constraints, and intersections with every other form of transport.

* Paul Butler – CEO at North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA):

Paul Butler has led the NEAA as Chief Executive Officer since its launch in March 2015. Today, with over 270 member companies it is the leading automotive cluster in the UK and provides members with an unparalleled collaborative network where companies find benefit from leadership and co-ordination of activities of mutual benefit.

Paul represents the region’s automotive sector on the Automotive Council Skills, Supply Chain, Digital, and Regional economic Forum Groups, the North East LEP’s Business Growth Board, Provider Network, and Skills Advisory Panel. Paul is also a board member of the European Automotive Clusters Network and the only UK-based Cluster Benchmarking Expert for the European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis (ESCA).

In 2023 Paul was recognised as the Innovation Champion of the Year at the North East Innovation Awards thanks to his leadership of several key innovation activities, including the £4.9m 5G CAL project and the £8.1m V-CAL project.

* John Henderson – Chair of Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) East Midlands:

John Henderson has 25 years’ experience in the logistics industry. Commencing on the traffic desk and progressing to Commercial Director in a variety of sectors including perishables, electronics and healthcare. John is Chair of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), East Midlands region -- an organisation focused on sharing best practice, ideas, supporting professional development and raising the kudos of the logistics and transport sector. John studied Transport Management and Planning at Loughborough University and spent time working in consultancy and project management for clients including Department for Transport and Transport for London in the arena of freight policy and best practice. John co-founded Sara Penrose Ltd: a consultancy and training business in 2018 focusing on improving business performance through skill development. It is an active member of the Silverstone Technology Cluster.

• Martin Kendall – Managing Director at Vantec Europe Limited

Martin Kendall is based in Sunderland, and responsible for Vantec Operations across the UK, working with the following partners:

1. Automotive sector – Nissan Motor Manufacturing and Magna 2. EV sector – AESC 3. Luxury Automotive sector – Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and Bentley Motors Limited 4. Construction sector – Komatsu 5. Offshore sector – GE Veron 6. Project – Thorn Lighting

Martin started his career at Nissan when the plant opened in 1986, working in Material Handling before moving into Engineering.

In 2002 he moved to Vantec, moving up to Managing Director in 2011. Having moved to Vantec in 2002, in 2011 he became Managing Director. It has been during this time he has overseen the design and construction of two logistics centres in Sunderland, the Innovation Centre, creation of Vantec Interactive Experience, launch of business with R-RMC , Bentley , Magna, AESC and GE, as well as launching business in St Petersburg, Mississippi and Chennai.

* Mike Hayward – Head of Regulatory & Dispute Resolution at Woodfines:

Specialises in: Criminal Law Regulatory Matters Road Traffic Offences Road Transport & Logistics

Mike is Head of Woodfines’ Regulatory & Dispute Resolution team, specialising in the representation of Individuals and Businesses against prosecutions brought by the Crown Prosecution Service, Trading Standards, the Health and Safety Executive, and other enforcement agencies.

He specialises in Court and Committee Advocacy; Grave Crimes (homicide / fraud, including multi-million pound fraud / sexual offences / etc); Licensing (alcohol / SEV / taxi); Proceeds of Crime; and Motoring Defence.

Mike acts for those in the transport, haulage and distribution industry; advising on all aspects of Operator Licensing. He also advises businesses and individuals facing Public Law challenges with Local Authorities (Licensing and Planning). He has experience in assisting clients at application stage, at Committee, and in Appeals before all Courts, including the High Court. Under his lead, the team were successful in the first ever case of its type concerning taxi licensing, with national implications.

* Nathan Taylor-Allkins – Partner, Regulatory and Dispute Resolution at Woodfines:

Specialises in: Criminal Law Regulatory Matters Road Traffic Offences Road Transport & Logistics

Nathan completed a four-year law sandwich degree at Nottingham Trent University, which included spending the third year of his studying on placement at a criminal law firm in central London.

He then gained a distinction on the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law, Bloomsbury, where he continued to work on a part-time basis at the same law firm that he spent his placement year at.

Nathan joined Woodfines as a trainee solicitor in 2013 and qualified into the Crime and Regulatory department in 2015, progressing to Partner in April 2022.

Specialist Areas

General Criminal defence, White-Collar Crime, Fraud and Business defence: Nathan specialises in the representation of individuals and businesses against prosecutions brought by the Crown Prosecution Service, Trading Standards, the Health and Safety Executive, and other enforcement agencies. He has vast experience in advising at all stages of proceedings for a wide range of cases, including grave crimes, such as murder, robbery, multi-million pound frauds and insider trading.

Motoring: Nathan provides defence in all aspects of road traffic matters, including special reasons and exceptional hardship hearings.

Licensing: Involved in a variety of cases concerning taxi licensing and alcohol/premises licensing.

Transport: Nathan advises on all areas of the regulatory regimes involving heavy goods vehicles, public service vehicle, professional drivers, and fleets, including on compliance, prosecution and defence.

For informed discussion with networking to taste, book your place below.

** This is an in-person event only.

Timings: 9.00am – 1:00pm


Register your interest