English test track gets expansion go-ahead | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

English test track gets expansion go-ahead

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The advanced vehicle engineering, research, development and testing track HORIBA MIRA has been granted planning approval to expand.

This is despite opposition because the expansion takes in a part of the historic site of the Battle of Bosworth.

HORIBA MIRA say this make a global centre of excellence and enhance the UK’s capabilities for the development of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles technology.

The TIC-IT consortium, led by HORIBA MIRA in partnership with Coventry University, will begin preparing the site ahead of construction commencing in December.

Chris Reeves, Head of CAV Technologies at HORIBA MIRA, said, “We would like to express our thanks to Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council, our stakeholders and our neighbours for their continuing support, which is essential to the continued growth of HORIBA MIRA and the MIRA Technology Park. This unique facility will be used to ensure CAV technologies are safe and secure and retain and attract companies ranging from vehicle manufacturers and their supply chain, disruptors bringing radical solutions to the market and small medium enterprises (SMEs) to the Midlands. Many of these potential clients can develop their technologies and products anywhere globally, to prevent this, we must have the correct facilities such as TIC-IT so HORIBA MIRA remains as the preeminent CAV test and development partner.

“The advanced technologies used by CAV are a game changer for the automotive and transport sector, which will bring unprecedented safety, efficiency and convenience benefits as well as a major wealth creation and inward investment opportunity for the UK, HORIBA MIRA and the local economy.

“This technology is of paramount importance to the future of the automotive sector. Thanks to the ongoing support of our community, HORIBA MIRA will continue to be at the heart of the UK strategy to keep business within the region and to bring all the benefits of CAV technologies to the UK.”

TIC-IT is one of four projects announced last October that will enhance the UK’s capabilities for the development of CAV technology. Collectively, the projects represent a total of £80 million co-investment by industry and Government through Meridian – a partnership between the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), Automotive Council UK and the Advanced Propulsion Centre, with £51 million coming from Government investment.

The TIC-IT facility will be built on HORIBA MIRA’s Proving Ground and will create a purpose-built safe environment for testing CAVs up to the limit of their controllability, a critical activity to ensure consumer confidence in the technologies. The test environment will be unique, enabling a wide range of CAV and traditional driving scenarios to be tested.

The council told the BBC the site was not within a conservation area and would contribute significantly to the economy.

 
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