Our first on-track event is now a little over one month away and last week we visited the venue in Leicestershire, roughly 2 hours’ drive north of London and in the British Midlands – an area synonymous with the automotive industry – large parts of the automotive industry still exist within an hour’s drive in any direction, supported by multiple universities and hundreds of manufacturing companies at all levels of the supply chain.
Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, as you might have already guessed from the incredibly long straights, is a former air base. It was originally commissioned by the RAF during WW2, later lent to the USAF and eventually closed in 1962. Later on, while in private ownership, it was home to the last airworthy Avro Vulcans, which were (by the 2000s) only used for display purposes.
To say the facilities are large is something of an understatement… the main straight is 10,000 feet long. Although most military facilities were removed through the process of privatisation, the venue’s military heritage is still strongly evident, with a large number of planes of all sizes stored on site (from private single props to commercial Jumbo Jets and interceptor jets to nuclear bombers).
As a vehicle proving ground, it is typically used for high speed runs, the track record being held by a production car which, although restricted, still reached an absurd 237 mph (381 k/ph). On the day we visited to recce the area we’d be using, it was expected that a car being tested that day, which we were kept away from and forbidden from discussing, would pass that speed! Other vehicles which have been tested on site include military, aerial, jets, unmanned drones, motorbikes, lorries, and it also hosts large outdoor events as well, regularly hosts film and music video shoots, parties and of course – track days!
On with the topic of today’s update though, and that is to remind you that registration is now open for our first event.
Registration is now open, with three different types of entry available:
- Test vehicle – For organisations with a vehicle they’d like to test. Price for this event is £100 per vehicle and is a refundable deposit. We also ask for the members of the support team and their email addresses to be added to the registration. Restricted to 20 cars.
- Development team – For up to two people from any organisation wanting to learn more about how to build autonomous vehicles. Ideal for researchers, Formula Student Teams, small car manufacturers, Tier 2s and other organisations. Restricted to 20 people.
- Press – for anyone wishing to visit as a member of the media.
As we’ve said before, regrettably we are unable to accommodate members of the public or spectators.
Facilities on site
- During our event, we’ll be using a small building, “The Indy Lodge”, for briefings, presentations and workshops.
- Teams bringing vehicles will each have a work-bay in a temporary marquee we’ll be installing on hard-standing next to the track area we’ll be using, known as the Indy Circuit.
- Wheelchair access and separate Ladies/Gents/Disabled loos will be available.
- Good GPS coverage on track. Variable-to-poor mobile connectivity on track.
- Track access will be controlled by marshal radios.
- Overnight accommodation for teams is not available on site.
Due to the nature of some of the activities that occur at Bruntingthorpe, all access on to site is strictly controlled. If you’re not registered, you will not be allowed on site.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Cheeky additional note: If you want to learn more about driverless cars, pick up a copy of Esquire (UK) next month!