Back in the summer of 1936, the Earl of March, better known as racing driver and Brooklands winner Freddie March, staged a private hill climb for the Lancia Car Club on the winding drive in front of Goodwood House.
In the winter of 1992, his grandson, the present Duke of Richmond and Gordon, re-created that motorsport event and the following summer the Goodwood Festival of Speed was born and entered not only the British social and sporting calendar, but soon would become a focus of the global collector car community.
“The festival brings together the world’s greatest collection of cars for four days every year, featuring an exhilarating array of the rarest and most exotic machinery. From F1 to Nascar, Rally to Indy Car, Supercar to Edwardian racer; there’s nothing like it,” the Goodwood Estate newsletter notes.
But the 1.16-mile run up the hill is only part of the attraction.
“The festival has evolved beyond cars and mobility; one of the most popular attractions is now FOS Future Lab, a next-generation technology experience,” the Goodwood site notes.
Indeed, the site quotes 2018 visitor Linda Jackson, the chief executive of Citroen: “I have only been here twenty minutes and I want to spend three hours here because it is so fascinating,” she said during her 2018 visit. “As a member of the automotive industry there is so much here that is relevant and has a cross over. It makes you think.”
The 2019 Festival of Speed is scheduled for July 4-7. The Future Lab will explore several themes:
Smart Cities: “Cities of the future will be connected, dynamic, intelligent systems that respond to their citizens and the flow of global communication and data,” according to the Goodwood Future Lab organizers. “You can look forward to the international unveil of Europe’s first autonomous, electric roadworthy delivery vehicle, named Kar-go.”
Future of Flight: “The fiction of traveling in flying cars comes a step closer to fact, with the global launch of Alauda Racing’s brand-new motorsports, featuring the world’s first flying race cars, and AeroMobil’s UK debut of one of the first flying cars to be brought to market.”
Life in Outer Space: “Pioneering international projects dedicated to looking for life in space; capturing the experience of living in space; and nurturing solutions for growing life in space. FOS Future Lab will start the countdown-to-launch of the EXOMars rover, to search for life on Mars, and there will be an exclusive preview of the world’s most advanced immersive VR content from onboard the ISS.”
Robotics & AI: “World-class innovations showing how robotics and AI are an exciting asset not a threat. Guests can explore the future of gaming hands-on, with a physical and AR battle arena in FOS Future Lab and there will be an opportunity to visualize the ‘factory of the future,’ where everything is made on demand and by robots.”
Earth Future: “A cutting-edge showcase of engineering and material science, responding to the need for sustainable innovation and greater awareness of Earth’s resources… There will also be an opportunity to try the world’s first edible packaging for drinks.”