Helping to shape the next generation in the Automotive Industry.

Welcome to the AutoHorizon website, the AutoHorizon Foundation and its first project the FR-1 (Fund Raiser – 1) is a unique community based program. Investing in the intellectual capacity of our youth, society and the Auto industry.

Fr-1 as a project is designed to showcase internationally the Australian automotive industry, and attainable career opportunities within the industry. The FR-1 concept car will be auctioned while donating the funds to four nominated national and state charities. The Australian automotive industry has a vast breadth of innovation that has been harnessed within the FR-1Program. Our program is a hands-on example designed to illustrate the end process, resources and skills that can be delivered by the Australian automotive manufacturing and service repair industry.

In automotive design & engineering, concept cars showcase new concepts, styling, technology and forward thinking for industry.  The FR1 Concept Car is an example of this process, built by volunteers from a range of areas of automotive expertise under the direction of Brian Tanti. The primary aims of the FR1 project are to showcase Australian science and design capabilities, and to stretch thinking with regard to innovative use of materials and green power plants (the car includes some innovative elements of automotive), and to build links into education to awaken interest in careers in engineering and technology, especially in the automotive skills disciplines. Ultimately, the finished FR1 Concept Car will be auctioned world-wide to support the goals of the foundation.

AutoHorizon is a unique auto Industry advocate; it is a consolidated forum where the following programs are currently being undertaken:

  • Auto manufacturers, research institutions and auto component suppliers/partners are developing a car to promote Australian automotive expertise.
  •  University students and trade apprentices are working to hone their skills as undergraduates and apprentices, making them work ready and inspired for employment upon graduation.
  •  Where auto component products and completed projects will further promote Australian excellence and new technologies locally and globally.
  •  Creating within the community awareness of the auto industry, inspiring young Australians to consider a career in automotive manufacturing, or the associated trade disciplines in the service repair industry.
  • Partnerships with schools are being created across all demographics to address the skills shortage issue challenging industry
  • Developing educational curriculum in partnerships with Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority in the areas of science, technology, and innovation and career pathways.
  • Development of an education tour program through regional Australia.

 FR-1 Green Innovation

While the Green Innovation Fund is asking for new frontiers, this is, we believe, a reference to the development of new and radical methods of propulsion.  Our first project FR-1 is powered by an E-85 GM L76 fuel flex active cylinder management engine. This engine will result in 17 % less greenhouse gases. It is our view that the Government should also be challenging industry to focus on the evaluation of light weight structures and the re evaluation of the unit cost impact of allunimium.

Taking critical mass out of a vehicle by using lightweight materials, as used in the FR-1 concept car will demonstrate a significant saving in fuel consumption. The lightweight technology utilised is available right now. It has been demonstrated time and again that simply reducing consumption is far more effective than changing the process by which energy in a liquid fuel is transformed into motive power in the short to medium term. The most cost-effective way to reduce consumption is to reduce the power required to propel vehicles at current and practical traffic speeds.

FR-1 Australian Niche Automotive Markets

We often ask how Australia can carve out a niche in
particular areas of technology. Carbon fibre manufacture is one of these
areas, and VCAMM - Victorian Centre of Advanced Materials & Manufacturing (Auto Horizon’s principal partner) is lobbying for a business case to be put together for a carbon fibre factory in Australia, thus creating the possibility of many manufacturing opportunities (including automotive) based on freely available and relatively cheap lightweight carbon fibre.

Our program is pioneering a new method of chassis manufacture and
construction using Quickstep cured carbon fibre panels that are melded
or glued together. Our program and the AutoHorizon Foundation vision have provided an incubator for relationships and partnerships between industry and research groups, so that they can work together and evolve a product in a practical and engaging way for undergraduates and apprentices alike.

Australian Skills 

Our program has provoked much interest from young people and educators. It proactively promotes the automotive industry as a career pathway. The forum created by the AutoHorizon Foundation accords participating university undergraduates and apprentices the opportunity to pick up skill sets that help make them ready for employment.

Further, it demonstrates how exciting a career in the auto industry can be, breaking down some of the unfortunate stigmas that have plagued auto industry employers and automotive peak bodies in attempting to attract young people to the industry. The use of new technology such as carbon fibre / plastic, and the delivery of the program at the Docklands Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) has engaged people at an emotive level.

FR 1 Concept Car Education Programs


  • To implement an education program primarily focused on Design & Technology curriculum which is aligned to the development of concept cars, such as the FR1 Concept car.  The program will target the school education sector and will explore curriculum linkages and career options in the automotive industry, with other focus areas being career opportunities and pathways in automotive trades, and areas such as digital sculpting, panel beating and spray painting.
  • To market and deliver the education to ensure that schools across Australia are cognizant of the education program and its applications to current curriculum
  • To deliver the program using methods that offer high level accessibility to schools in provincial/regional locations
  • To deliver a program that has high-level technology built into it, so that it supports the technological aspect of the FR1 car.
  • To link the FR1 education program into allied programs that support career options in the automotive industry
  • To develop ongoing linkages with the automotive industry to build industry/educations relationships with the school sector


The FR1 Concept Car Education Program will be targeted at teachers and students at Middle School [Years 6 – 10] level, as well as options for Senior Students [years 11 & 12]. The focus will initially be in the Design and Technology area, with other curriculum areas to follow.


  • Key personnel who have been involved in the development of the concept car
  • Key teachers with a strong interest in Design and Technology
  • Industry – partners from across the automotive industry with a focus on those demonstrating leading edge and best practice operations
  • Associations – Victorian Automobile Association
  • Professional Teacher Associations – DATTA
  • Web developers/Multimedia specialists

Key Milestones 

  1. Education Program outline developed
  2. Stakeholder/Partner identification and engagement
  3. Curriculum resources identified and classified
  4. Curriculum content developed and mapped to Victorian Essential Learning Standards
  5. Program delivery framework, including website and teacher training, developed
  6. Launch of the FR1 Concept Car at the 2009 Motor Show
  7. Education program launch
  8. Teacher training/support program activated
  9. Roll-out of curriculum programs

Delivery Methodology

  • The program will map closely to the VELS, most particularly in Design and Technology, but with future application across other curriculum streams
  • This program will rely on highly interactive resourcing primarily web-based but supported by seminars, visits, regional forums etc.
  • This program will have strong user-driven structure, enabling student users to pursue different directions to different depths and at differing pace.
  • Program will integrate strongly with complimentary areas of study, increasing relevance while underscoring key learning synergies that support the development of education toward career paths.
  • Recognising the important role of teachers, the program will put strong emphasis on teacher training opportunities.

Project Sponsors