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Mathematician Finds Answer To Timeless Question

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With the current economic climate forcing many people to forget this year’s sunny overseas holiday and instead take a ‘staycation[1]’, families are opting to stay at home and take day trips out instead.

But more UK-based trips means more long car journeys, which will undoubtedly see the back seats of family cars ringing to the sound of one of life’s great questions - ‘Are we there yet?’

However, a mathematician has answered parents’ prayers and put an end to the question for good.  Professor Dwight Barkley, Department of Mathematics at the University of Warwick, has formulated an equation to calculate the exact time into a journey it takes for a child to ask ‘Are we there yet?’

The equation takes the following form: *


                                                       
T is the exact time at which a child first asks “Are we there yet?”
to is the time you left the house
C is the number of children in the car
A is the number of activities to do

The equation, which was commissioned by Škoda to help its customers better prepare for long summer car journeys, works by taking into account the length of time since leaving the house, the number of activities available and the number of children in the car.  It illustrates how the length of time until a child asks the question will increase with the number of activities on offer and the number of children in the car.

Commenting on the triumph, Professor Dwight Barkley explained, “Mathematics can help answer many of life’s questions and this equation can be a fun way to think about the problem of keeping children entertained on a family car journey.” 

Catherine Bell, Head of Press and PR for Škoda UK, comments, “We commissioned the research in order to help our customers understand what to consider before embarking on a long holiday trip.  As the ‘manufacturer of happy drivers’, we’re always thinking about how the family car can improve the lives of our customers.  You can see that across our range, including our supermini Fabia, which has lots of helpful features to make a car journey easier.

“The Škoda Fabia has been fitted with numerous useful and clever creature comforts which can help to entertain children, such as an auxiliary connection for an MP3 player.  Howls of hunger from the back seat are also set to be a thing of the past, as Škoda has cleverly incorporated air conditioning into the glove box, ensuring that snacks and sandwiches stay fresh.  Perfect for those “staycation” trips!”

Although positioned in the small car segment, the Fabia is actually anything but.  Spacious and perfectly formed with a curvaceous sporty body and a new grille, this small car has a big personality and capturing looks.  The story continues inside with great interior styling, a smart combination of high-quality and outstanding ergonomics and, for luggage and all the things a family needs to take on a day trip or a longer holiday, a spacious 300 litre boot.

The Fabia appeals to a variety of age groups and lifestyles.  Additional space and clever design features will attract young families, whilst Fabia’s fresh, contemporary design will appeal to couples and singles alike.

The Fabia easily handles long journeys and the space inside is second to none in its class.  Other Škoda models, the Roomster small MPV, the mid-size Octavia and the soon-to-arrive, stunning new Superb, will also transport you and your family to your holiday destination and back comfortably and safely, with bags of space for you and your luggage. 

[1]‘Staycation’, the top trend predicted for this year, according to JWT, the USA’s largest ad agency

-Ends-

*The formula is expressed as:  The time it takes for a child to ask the question equals: one, plus the number of activities available to do, divided by the number of children in the car, squared.  That figure is then added to the time the family left the house to give the answer.

Editors’ Notes
Škoda is the Manufacturer of Happy Drivers:
• The new Octavia is the 2008 Auto Express Driver Power survey ‘Car of the Year’
• Škoda is ranked second overall in the 2008 J D Power Study of Customer Satisfaction, and has been in the top five for the past 13 years.

Škoda is an environmentally-friendly manufacturer:
• Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders cites Roomster 1.4TDI (135g/km) as lowest emitting MPV in UK
• Škoda is ranked as the fourth greenest make in the UK by Business Car.

For more information visit www.skodapress.co.uk or call:
Catherine Bell  - Head of Press and PR on  01908 548 042 / 07710-331389 or
Helen Bainbridge – Media Relations Officer on 01908-548060/ 07984-128800.

PR/REL2008/SKPR/670

This news release (and illustration) is issued in accordance with Clause 1.2j of the British Codes of Advertising and Sales Promotion and therefore cannot be the subject of a transaction of any kind.