Fleet News

£2m laboratory will test effect of radio interference on vehicles

THE Motor Industry Research Association has opened a new £2 million laboratory to test the effect of radio frequency interference - such as from mobile phones - on vehicles. Such devices use high radio frequencies and must be tested to ensure that they do not interfere with any other electronic systems on the vehicle - and that they remain unaffected by the other components.

The new RFI laboratory was opened last month - 10 years to the day after the UK's first automotive electromagnetic compatibility facility was opened at MIRA. The new laboratory is capable of handling much higher frequencies and is designed to handle the growing numbers of mobile communications devices, microwave security sensors and navigation systems fitted to vehicles as standard.

The most widely-publicised issue surrounding such technology is that of mobile phones causing anti-lock braking systems to fail on some cars. MIRA's testing is at the forefront of making sure that such incidents do not happen and leading car manufacturers advise drivers to take precautions.

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