TIC-IT consortium wins UK government funding to create world-class CAV testing facilities


The Trusted Intelligent Connected Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) consortium (TIC-IT) has been given UK government funding as part of the national strategy to establish the country as a world-leading center of excellence for the development, testing and commercialization of CAVs.

The TIC-IT consortium, led by leading provider of advanced vehicle engineering, research, development and testing services, Horiba MIRA, in partnership with Coventry University and its cybersecurity, engineering and automotive design departments, will receive £13m (US$17m) of grant funding from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, to establish a critical piece of testing infrastructure, which will form part of the world’s most effective CAV testing ecosystem.

TIC-IT is one of four projects that will enhance the UK’s capabilities for the development of CAV technology. Collectively, the projects represent a total of £80m (US$106m) co-investment by industry and government through Meridian, a partnership between the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), the Automotive Council, and the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), with £51m (US$67.5m) coming from government.

The TIC-IT facility will be built on Horiba MIRA’s 750-acre Proving Ground at Nuneaton in the Midlands, and will create a purpose built realistic, safe environment for testing CAVs up to the limit of their operability, which is a critical activity to ensure consumer confidence in the technologies.

The test environment will be unique, enabling a wide range of CAV driving scenarios to be tested. The emergence of CAV technology is set to generate unprecedented levels of disruption and change, not only within the automotive industry, but the mobility sector, and with the testing ecosystem in place, the UK is aiming to become a leading global center of excellence for this transformation.

“Not only does CAV technology bring huge benefits to society, but it also creates substantial opportunity for inward investment. In order to turn this opportunity into reality, the UK must accelerate the development, deployment and commercialization of CAV technology,” explained Dr Geoff Davis, chief strategy officer at Horiba MIRA.

“Developed in partnership with Coventry University, the new facility will bring a unique testing capability to the UK, allowing us to increase the level of activity required to develop CAVs to ensure they are safe and secure for real-world environments.”

Secretary for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BIS), Greg Clark, said, “These projects form part of a globally unique cluster running from our automotive heartlands in the West Midlands, down through our innovation centers in Oxfordshire and Milton Keynes, through to London, Europe’s only megacity.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).