The Next Generation Award will return in 2014
Jake Larsson has won the fifth annual Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award.
The award is designed to attract budding graduates from UK universities into the motor industry. Larsson, who studied Innovation and Creativity in Industry at Cranfield University, impressed the judging panel with his idea for a new seat-mounted sensor system which can detect objects around a moving vehicle.
The result was announced at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders annual dinner, in front of an audience of over 1000 industry representatives.
The engineer outlined how his plan, based on the usage of 12 long-range ultrasonic sensors embedded into the driver's seat, could be used to create a 360-degree sensory field of vision around a moving car.
Data from the sensors, which could pick up other cars and objects in close proximity, would be fed back to the driver by vibrations in the seat, thus helping to improve driver awareness and cut down on the high proportion of car accidents that are down to human error.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Steve Cropley said the Next-Generation Award is designed "to attract Britain's brightest university talent to the excitement and challenges of the automotive industry.
"Our judging panel really struggled to decide whose submission was best among our finalists. They were all brilliant, and if the history of this award is anything to go by they each have a fine career ahead of them."
Runners-up in the Next-Generation Award included Alexander Siamatas, who impressed judges with his design for a new collapsible compact seat, and Ashley Finn, who put forward his idea for an adaptive engine-temperature control system.