Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground to commence £8.4 million investment to create 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.”

Bruntingthorpe in Leicestershire is the current home of C Walton Limited, Manheim Auctions, Big Thunder Events, Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground and the Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, featuring the iconic Cold War Jets Collection as well as a number of other automotive businesses. All situated within the 670-acre site, there is something to meet the needs of each of our customers. Our wide range of facilities allow us to cater for any type of event, from the standard to the obscure, and thanks to our 3.2km straight, Bruntingthorpe still operates as an active airfield.

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