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Winner - Academic Enterprise Competition, South Bank Technopark Ltd. 1983

Tim Pharoah was winner of the South Bank Technopark Academic Enterprise Competition, 1983. The award was for the innovative use of car metering technology to allocate costs between users of shared cars. This was presented as an essential component of any future public car club or shared car ownership venture. The concept was developed partly through collaboration with Dr Steve Cousins of the Open University who had also developed an in-car meter. South Bank University Technopark developed a multiple-key meter as a post-graduate student project in 1983 (see illustration). 

Using connections to the engine and speedometer, the meter could be calibrated to display vehicle running costs (including a proportion of fixed costs if required). The meter would disply the per-trip cost (from insertion to removal of the key counter), whicle the key counter displayed the running total for that user. Each user of the car-share system would have their own key counter, which would then be used as a (manual) billing system.

It was rudimenatry compared to modern car-club metering, but was innovative for its time. In the pre-micro computer age, accurate and secure billing systems were a principal stumbling block in the development of shared car systems.

Date(s)1983
Team(s)Tim Pharoah (South Bank) and Dr Steve Cousins (Open University)

keywords

Car club, car metering, shared cars, billing system, in-car technology, South Bank Technopark