Autonomous Vehicle Research Centre opens its doors

HORIBA MIRA, a world-leader in vehicle engineering, research and product testing, has joined forces with Coventry University to launch a brand new automotive research centre dedicated to developing intelligent, connected vehicle technology.

Networked cars will become more common in the future. Image courtesy of the US Department of Transportation.
The global intelligent and autonomous vehicle sector is growing at a rapid pace – image courtesy of the US Department of Transportation.

Officially opened yesterday (April 12), the Centre for Connected & Autonomous Automotive Research aims to pioneer and test new developments to support the rapid growth within the global intelligent mobility sector and address future transport needs.

Located on an existing site at the heart of MIRA Technology Park, the centre’s core objectives are to:

  • Provide an environment to simulate, test and evaluate the security and safety of Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAV)
  • Undertake research to accelerate the development of new products and services in the CAV segment
  • Produce a pipeline of talent to support growth of the CAV segment

An initial team of up to 20 academic staff members and doctoral research students from Coventry University, alongside HORIBA MIRA’s engineering and test teams, will be working on kick-off activities and projects at the Centre, which is also fitted out with a range of information and communications technology, and specialist laboratories.

With in-house facilities combining the real and virtual worlds for CAV, the Centre will utilise a suite of simulators that interact with ‘living laboratory’ environments.

This latest strategic investment builds on existing collaborative activity between the two partners, including work with other leading industry players to test connected vehicle technology in real-world conditions; a project exploring  how connectivity will help drivers reach their destinations more efficiently and conveniently; and wide-ranging doctoral research activity exploring, among other things, technologies that make journeys safer, cleaner and smarter, as well as the development of more resilient cyber security systems within modern vehicles.

CEO at HORIBA MIRA, Dr George Gillespie OBE explained: “The new centre will provide a hub for rapidly expanding the scope of the engineering and test services we offer our clients within CAV, and an environment where we can learn with our clients to ensure these new services are tailored to their needs in this fast-evolving technology area.”

Professor John Latham, vice-chancellor of Coventry University, added: “Our collaboration with HORIBA MIRA is part of a multi-million-pound investment that Coventry University is undertaking in teaching, research and development within the transport sector.

“The new centre is being established to drive the high-quality, high-impact research needed to underpin UK capabilities in the development of connected and autonomous vehicle technology. Closer working between academia and industry is vital if we are to tackle the economic challenges facing us at both a regional and national level.”