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Innovative vehicle test track

First publishedin World Highways
2010 September
Lafarge Contracting is helping build a sophisticated test track for future vehicles.

Prototype vehicles are now being driven today on the new test track built by Lafarge.

The pioneering cityscape circuit replicates the road network of an urban environment but is equipped with sophisticated telemetry, communications, monitoring and vehiclecontrol technologies.

Created for innovITS, a private firm set up by the last government to drive innovation in transport, the test track is said to be the world's first purpose-built centre for the development of intelligent transport systems. Located at MIRA headquarters, near Nuneaton, the new innovITS Advance City Circuit features junctions, intersections, roundabouts and multi-lane highways with a range of surfaces, together with traffic signals, CCTV and catwalk gantries allowing installation of overhead equipment for testing, monitoring and signage.

Lafarge was appointed to carry out two rounds of work on the circuit, which has been specially designed to test the next-generation of ultra-smart cars featuring advances such as on-board pedestrian-detection and collisionavoidance intelligence. Lafarge worked with innovITS to deliver the two construction phases of innovITS' Advance City Circuit. This involved working to tight deadlines and budgets to produce an innovative facility despite unexpected changes and severe weather. For the contractor this provided an unusual and challenging scheme and the firm built 4km of track, installed all the drainage, power and data cabling, threaded the whole circuit with fibre optics and erected four overhead gantries, eight CCTV cameras and 12 street lights.

It also employed its own high-performance, durable materials, including Axoshield and Axoaltoflex, as well as recycling planings from works to the access roads. No general waste went to landfill and, despite inclement weather all works for the second phase were completed on time.

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