The note reviews the recent technological development of the automobile and attempts to anticipate the ability of the Japanese industry to cope with the increasing competition in the world market. Major factors affecting the future development of cars are seen to be fuel economy, environmental pollution and safety. Front-wheel drive systems are more effective in attempts to reduce the size and weight of cars. At present only 15 per cent of Japanese cars are front-wheel drive compared with 60 per cent of European cars. Air resistance has an important part to play in reducing fuel consumption, especially for lorries where great improvements can be made. Fuel economy has also been improved by the use of steel radial tyres, which have a lower rolling resistance than other types. The efficiency of engines and transmissions can also be improved. Diesel engines are more efficient than petrol engines, but it may be difficult to make them comply with future pollution legislation. The problems associated with the use of electronics in automotive functions are reviewed; costs need to be balanced against possible benefits. Japanese policies regarding safety and traffic management are also outlined. (TRRL)

  • Corporate Authors:

    Japan Automobile Research Institute

    Yatabe-Cho, Tsukuba-Gun
    Ibaraki,   Japan 
  • Authors:
    • Watari, A
  • Publication Date: 1980-10

Media Info

  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: 16 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00335046
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Report/Paper Numbers: JARI Tech Note 3 Monograph
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 16 1981 12:00AM