Westfield is a broad-based group spanning technology and automotive. It has been making uncompromising sports cars since 1982, but its modern development really accelerated when Julian Turner became CEO in 2006. With a background in Project Engineering and Project Management at Boeing and Mott MacDonald, he was very aware of transport technology trends, and has progressively turned Westfield into a transportation pioneer rather than a car business. However, the car business still provides Westfield with unique advantages when developing pods. As well as understanding the dynamic requirements of road vehicles, Westfield has full type-approval for its road cars. It is also one of the leading authorities on developing type approval standards for autonomous vehicles, which gives Westfield a unique advantage in developing safe, reliable autonomous transport.
It is also developing associated technology which could benefit autonomous vehicles in the medium term:
It is working with Oxford University spin-out, ZapGo, to develop carbon/graphene supercapacitors to reduce charging time and provide better power-to-weight ratios compared to battery power.
With aerospace partners, it is developing microlattice structures which offer far better strength to weight ratios than current lightweight materials such as aluminium.
With Conigital, another British technology company, it is developing 4D tactile displays for the partially sighted. These could be incorporated within the pods, to provide information for people that cannot use the video screens.