HORIBA MIRA invests in an even safer future for vehicles

Crash laboratory upgrades at the centre of plan to further enhance vehicle safety capability and underline UK's position as a leader in the delivery of automotive safety test engineering services

  • HORIBA MIRA is delivering significant enhancements to its Passive Safety Engineering Centre
  • Investment to extend safety centre by more than 40% will enable the delivery of legislative and NCAP crash test protocols
  • Government’s West Midlands Combined Authority funding partner, Frontier Development Capital, has supported the project with investment funding
  • Project boosts passive safety engineering as a core technology offer through the delivery of a unique capability in the UK
  • Latest investment positions HORIBA MIRA as a full-service provider of active and passive testing

26 March Nuneaton, Warwickshire. HORIBA MIRA is taking steps to safeguard the UK’s future as an automotive safety test engineering powerhouse by investing in its Passive Safety Engineering Centre in the West Midlands – a move that guarantees its continued contribution to the development of critical safety features on vehicles.

The organisation is globally recognised as a leader in vehicle safety engineering, validation and verification. This investment is delivering a significant extension to its Passive Safety Engineering Centre, creating a third-generation facility that builds on almost 60 years of safety testing heritage on its site that’s close to Nuneaton.

HORIBA MIRA believes the investment will allow the UK to retain and attract important vehicle safety engineering and test work – from both resident and non-UK manufacturers.

Construction work is nearing completion to extend and upgrade the existing crash lab at HORIBA MIRA, allowing vehicle manufacturers to undertake a full suite of passive safety compliance tests, including Euro NCAP requirements, on UK soil.

“HORIBA MIRA identified there's capacity for the UK to offer even more in the field of automotive safety engineering, and that's been the catalyst for us to take decisive action and win the necessary support to bolster the current passive safety capability,” Graeme Stewart, HORIBA MIRA’s Chief Technical Officer, said.

“We are a country with a proud automotive history. While we have deep knowledge and capability in vehicle safety engineering and test, we have gaps in the facility capabilities to support all legislative and consumer standards. Capability in safety engineering is central to the success of the UK’s automotive engineering ecosystem.

“We already have world-class active safety testing capability and facilities at HORIBA MIRA – a fact underlined by Euro NCAP extending our accreditation to conduct active safety system testing on passenger cars and light commercial vehicles last month.

“But giving the UK a crash lab that completes the automotive safety engineering circle enables us to support vehicle manufacturers by providing the testing and engineering expertise they need to develop their active and passive safety systems.

“Giving industry access to critical active and passive safety facilities in one place, will allow the UK to maintain its competitive advantage in the automotive sector.”

The initiative is being jointly funded by HORIBA MIRA and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

Chris Reeves, HORIBA MIRA’s Head of Connected & Autonomous Vehicles, said: “After hearing about the facility capability gaps we identified, the West Midlands Combined Authority and Mayor Andy Street both championed this project on HORIBA MIRA’s behalf and we’re extremely grateful for their support.

“This has led to us securing a substantial grant from WMCA which was negotiated and arranged by their fund manager Frontier Development Capital (FDC). This funding has been crucial in ​ supporting the development of the site – and the Midlands as a region for innovation and growth.”

Gerald Gannaway, Investment Director at FDC, said: “It is really satisfying to have supported this project which will greatly help the UK automotive sector.”

As well as enabling the existing HORIBA MIRA crash laboratory to be significantly extended by a further 85 metres – taking the total runway length to 170 metres, the investment will also allow a new vehicle winch system and state-of-the-art cameras to be installed within the new facility.

After taking its crash laboratory off line in mid-February to allow construction work to start, HORIBA MIRA has been working hard to mitigate any impact on its customers. Its Passive Safety Engineering Centre will reopen in early summer and the new facility will be formally unveiled to stakeholders in September.

Roisin Hopkins, HORIBA MIRA’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Enhancing our passive and active safety testing capability and giving vehicle manufacturers access to our expertise in one location is a powerful proposition within the UK automotive supply chain.

"We will soon be able to provide a one-stop automotive safety test engineering solution and enable vehicle manufacturers to realise new efficiencies, including minimising prototypes, logistics, shipping and carbon costs.”

- Ends -

Liam Clogger

Director, GroupWhistle

Notes to Editors:

HORIBA MIRA is a global provider of automotive engineering, research and test services, with close to 80 years of experience in developing some of the world’s most iconic vehicles.

Working in collaboration with vehicle manufacturers and suppliers around the world, it provides comprehensive support ranging from technology development and individual product tests through to full-vehicle design, development and build programmes. ​ 

While traditionally known for its vehicle test services – including more than 40 major facilities and 100km of Proving Ground – HORIBA MIRA is so much more than this.

During the last decade, it has invested heavily in the evolution of its engineering capability and in the development of MIRA Technology Park, Europe’s leading mobility R&D location for developing the latest automotive technology.

The unique combination of engineering expertise, advanced testing facilities and prime location of MIRA Technology Park in the heart of the UK automotive industry, enables customers to develop and validate their technology, or vehicle, in one place.

HORIBA MIRA’s purpose is to improve lives by making journeys safer, cleaner and smarter.


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About Group Whistle

GroupWhistle is a specialist communications agency for businesses in automotive technology and motorsport.