Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground to commence £8.4 million investment, with £4 million of government funding to create and operate new CAV testing facility
On 22nd November Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in partnership with Applus+ IDIADA has been awarded £4 million of government funding to design and operate a new Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) test facility at the Bruntingthorpe site in Leicestershire, a project with a total investment of £8.4 million.
This initiative includes controlled highway test facilities and builds on the existing environment at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground to provide a comprehensive, flexible set of highway intersections. These will be able to mimic a wide variety of UK road junctions, from smart motorways to rural A and B roads, to allow CAVs to be tested in a representative, yet safe and secure manner.
The 6km of extensions will be constructed at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground and will create a purpose built realistic, safe environment for testing CAVs in a range of scenarios; a critical activity to ensure consumer confidence in the technologies. The extensions to the test facilities will be designed by Applus+ IDIADA (a consortium partner with Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground), who has experience of designing and operating some of the world’s most comprehensive proving grounds. This is significant for two reasons, it delivers foreign direct investment to the UK testing and development scene for the first time, and investment in Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground to bring it into the UK’s world class network of testing sites.
The emergence of CAV technology is set to generate unprecedented levels of change within the automotive industry, and with the testing ecosystem in place the UK is placed to become a global centre of excellence for the design, development and commercialisation of this technology.
This upgrade will establish a critical piece of testing infrastructure on the Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground site, which will enable the testing of almost any vehicle under almost any scenario in a fully connected, representative environment in a repeatable and controlled manner.
Dave Walton, Managing Director of Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, said “Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground and Applus+ IDIADA are delighted to become a part of Meridian’s vision for the future CAV testing ecosystem in the UK. The site at Bruntingthorpe and the experience of the Bruntingthorpe team, together with IDIADA’s experience in designing and operating proving grounds will allow us to develop a world class CAV facility which will attract intelligent vehicle development activities to the UK. The project will deliver a highly configurable set of road junctions, ranging from smart motorways to rural roads, all within a fully connected and carefully controlled environment.”
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Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground and Airfield is owned by C Walton Ltd, a private, family-owned company. C.Walton Ltd, along with other companies based on site, employ over 700 people on the Bruntingthorpe site. With an annual turnover in excess of £30 million, C. Walton Ltd is a significant contributor to the economy, both locally and nationally. The 680-acre former WW2 RAF airfield and USAF base plays host to a number of services and facilities including a comprehensive vehicle test track, one of the UK’s largest vehicle remarketing sites, an aviation recycling centre and Hangar ’42 – the UK’s newest conference and exhibition venue.
About Applus+ IDIADA
With over 25 years of history, Applus+ IDIADA is a leading engineering company providing design, testing, engineering and homologation services to the automotive industry worldwide. The company is present in the UK since 2004, with offices in Cambridge, Nuneaton, Warwick proving electronics, vehicle dynamics, brake development and testing and homologation services. The company has an international network of subsidiaries and branch offices in 24 countries with an international team of more than 2,500 engineers.
Meridian was created by government and industry to focus on key areas of UK capability in the global CAV sector which is predicted to be worth £907 billion by 2035. These areas include advanced development and validation, connected environments, data and cyber security, and new service development. Government and industry have committed an initial £100 million through Meridian to develop a coordinated national platform of CAV testing infrastructure. For more information please visit: meridianmobility.tech