The MIRA Technology Institute (MTI) has restated its support for the automotive industry to nurture the next generation of talent and address the skills gaps surrounding emerging technologies, following an appeal from an industry research centre.

The Centre for Connected, Autonomous Automotive Research (CCAAR) has called for the sector to embrace fresh thinking on electrification, automation and connectivity that will help to reinforce the UK’s position as a leader in the journey towards smart and environmentally-friendly vehicles.

Lisa Bingley, operations director for the MTI said, “The developments in connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technology have been gaining pace over the last few years and it is incredible how much progress has been made. If the UK wants to succeed in realising the potential that could be gained from the commercialisation of this technology, then industry really needs to be focused on building its capacity through future skills development.”

CCAAR is a collaboration between HORIBA MIRA and Coventry University that brings together experimentation and study to provide the underpinning knowledge and research that supports rapid growth within the global intelligent mobility sector to address future transport needs.

Lisa added, “While CCAAR is bringing together education and industry in a new way through its collaborative research partnership, the MTI is working to make the link between the theory and the practice so that employers are ready to pivot their skills and respond to new opportunities.

“At the MTI, we bring to life the latest techniques for industry through our range of courses in CAV, intelligent vehicle systems and cybersecurity. Our unique skills escalator provides the perfect opportunity for individuals to progress through the levels and means that businesses can access training seamlessly at any level from a single organisation.”

As part of its offer, the MTI has launched a unique Master’s level programme for September 2020, the first of its kind in the UK, developed jointly by Coventry University and HORIBA MIRA to address skills in CAV development. The ground-breaking Connected Autonomous Vehicle Systems (CAVS) MSc is set to address the shortfall in the number of university graduates skilled in autonomous vehicle software development and deployment.

The new MSc is designed to provide students from software engineering, computer science and other similar backgrounds with the required critical skills to produce robust and safe Advanced Driver Automation Systems (ADAS) for use in CAV applications.

The course covers topics such as sensor fusion, localisation, planning, communications and human interaction. A special focus will also be paid to safety, cybersecurity, testing and validation of CAVs and there is a strong emphasis on preparing students for their first professional position and future careers.

Lisa added, “There is no doubt that only the highest level of skills will enable the automotive and transport sector to survive and prosper as the recovery from the coronavirus crisis unfolds. There has never been a better time for organisations to take time out and consider their skills gaps, recovery, and succession planning. Despite the current lockdown keeping our building closed for now, we are available to talk to and advise businesses about some of the issues that they will be facing in the months ahead.”

Since it first opened its doors in 2018, the MTI has welcomed over 10,000 students and delegates. This includes over 600 studying for accredited qualifications from a Level 1 Institute of the Motor Industry certificate up to Masters’ degrees, and over 300 following apprenticeships at all levels.

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Chair of the MTI Operations Board, and Principal and Chief Executive North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College said, “In these unprecedented times, it is crucial that both the research and education sectors work closely together to deliver what the automotive industry needs to cement its recovery and future success. The MTI is well placed to provide the training solutions that will help to bolster that recovery.”

For more information call 024 7693 5680 or email enquiries@mti.ac.uk