Nissan has expanded its Michigan-based engineering center, Nissan Technical Center North America, on Sept. 29. The automaker's $40 million Safety Advancement Lab brings more efficiency to the vehicle development process and furthers Nissan’s goal of reaching a future with virtually zero fatalities, their announcement said.
“This expansion underscores Nissan’s commitment to the region and enables us to be a global center of excellence for new vehicle testing,” said Chris Reed, regional senior vice president, research and development, Nissan Americas. “The goal of virtually zero fatalities is always guiding our work. The combination of this new lab plus our passive and active safety technologies can help us reach that goal.”
At its Safety Advancement Lab, Nissan conducts full vehicle crash testing, vehicle certification, advanced development testing, and benchmarking. Engineers can conduct 48 different passive safety crash test simulations onsite, creating efficiencies in timing and results analysis, according to a news release. The 116,000 square foot facility is equipped with high-speed photography systems, data acquisition equipment, and a vehicle tow system. The site also includes a test dummy calibration lab, space for preparing vehicles, and a pedestrian safety lab.
Nissan launched its all-electric LEAF in 2010 and is targeting 40% of U.S. sales to be electric by 2030. The OEM says its new Safety Advancement Lab is also outfitted to evaluate the integrity of high-voltage EV batteries using more than a decade of best practices to drive Nissan toward that electrified future.
“Here in the Safety Advancement Laboratory, we're focused on passive safety,” says Mike Bristol, director, vehicle safety test engineering. “Our vehicles come equipped with technology to help prevent a crash, but in the event that there is a collision, we're focused on helping protect customers from injury and evaluating the vehicle structure performance, airbag performance, seatbelt performance, and other mechanisms that help protect our customers.”