Mr. Martin Bangemann, Commissioner responsible for Industrial Affairs, Information Technologies and Telecommunications, recently underlined the importance of the Commission's "Car of the Future" Task Force. Speaking at the Second Forum of the European Automobile Industry, which took place in Stuttgart, Germany, on 6 October 1995, Mr. Bangemann stressed that it is vital for the European automobile industry to: - Cooperate at the European level, in order to make best use of existing potential; - Ensure that research is close to the market, so as to increase the industry competitiveness; - Pool the results of both national and shared European research efforts. He pointed out that the new forum provided by the "Car of the Future" Task Force will permit research experts and the industry to identify bottlenecks "which have long made the "Car of the Future" appear to be more a dream than reality". It was also noted that the efforts devoted to the "Car of the Future" are not confined to research on the possibilities for electric and hybrid powered vehicles. All issues are up for discussion and the Task Force's objectives will be largely defined by the industry itself. Among the issues to be addressed are: - Ultraclean and efficient combustion engines; - The use of alternative energy sources, eg. natural gas, hydrogen; - New, ultralight materials; - Telematics systems. Commissioner Bangemann emphasized that: "The Task Force is not a means of introducing some harmonized Eurocar, built to the lowest common specification. On the contrary, it serves to reinforce and intensify competition. It will be up to the participating companies to decide for themselves whether they wish to take forward any of the Task Force's results in order to develop production models, for entry into the open market. The end result for the car buyer will be more choice from a range of better cars".