World-leading autonomous car development hub nears completion

World-leading autonomous car development hub nears completion
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A world-leading development hub for autonomous cars is nearing completion in Nuneaton, UK.

Built by automotive engineering giant HORIBA MIRA, the facility aims to offer a complete environment for autonomous vehicles from concept to on-road testing.

The facility is known as ASSURED CAV and promises to be “globally-unique” in providing support for all stages of development. 

ASSURED CAV has been specifically designed to enable the automotive industry, policymakers, and government to develop autonomous vehicle technology and the required legislation and regulatory environment needed to support their safe deployment on public roads.

Declan Allen, Managing Director at HORIBA MIRA, said:

“We’ve been on a journey to create ASSURED CAV; it represents many years of intense research and investment to bring together one of the most comprehensive CAV validation ecosystems in the world.

At a time when the automotive industry is facing significant headwinds, we’ve been steadfast in our approach to delivering this investment and we’re extremely proud to provide an ecosystem which will allow the automotive industry, as well as complementary industries, to develop and prove their self-driving technology.

This is a unique opportunity for companies to accelerate their activities to lead the industry – it will allow companies to bring forward their activities in this sector in an efficient and optimised manner, enabling them to solve the real-world problems of integrating their automated products into the public roads, whilst also importantly achieving consumer acceptance.”

£100 million has been invested in the facility’s development in recent years. HORIBA MIRA believes it will be vital as the UK approaches Brexit, especially a potentially “cliff-edge” one that will be disastrous for the European car industry, to strengthen the case for investing in the UK automotive industry.

HORIBA MIRA says ASSURED CAV supports the government’s industrial strategy to establish the UK as a leader in the development and commercialisation of CAVs, which, according to The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), could yield the UK economy £62 billion per year by 2030.

Chris Reeves, Head of Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Technologies at HORIBA MIRA, commented:

“Supported by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles as part of CAM Testbed UK, ASSURED CAV demonstrates that HORIBA MIRA is again at the forefront of government and industry’s collaborative approach to ensuring the UK is the best place in the world to develop and deploy CAM.

Although we’ve seen huge strides made in CAV technologies in recent years, the overriding challenge for the industry is giving consumers confidence that CAVs are safe enough to be on our roads. Our new ASSURED CAV ecosystem does just that and is a significant milestone in helping CAV developers bring their vehicles to market.

Not only will ASSURED CAV help to ensure a seamless development process, it will also foster the innovations and cross-industry partnerships needed to speed up the self-driving revolution and realise the huge economic and societal benefits it will bring.”

ASSURED CAV features a high-speed facility which enables vehicles to be tested at the very limits of their controllability, testing areas to simulate urban environments where pedestrians and cyclists will be encountered, a full complement of advanced robotic targets and supporting junction layouts adhering to relevant protocols for a full suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) testing, and a multi-storey car park to simulate future cars finding a free parking space by themselves.

In addition to the hub’s on-site testing roads, there are 300km worth of CAV-enabled public roads adjacent to the facility. These roads are equipped with a range of intelligent transport systems.

5G connectivity for the facility is supplied by Vodafone—enabling vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications to be verified, as well as testing infotainment and cybersecurity.

Automakers can base themselves at HORIBA MIRA through the MIRA Technology Park and sit alongside over 35 established mobility providers working on the latest technologies. The pandemic has made it even more welcome to be able to send teams and products to a single location rather than multiple to fulfil engineering and test requirements.

ASSURED CAV’s complete facility is currently set to open in March 2021.

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