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Nissan expands R&D with new Safety Advancement Lab in North America

Nissan has expanded its Michigan-based engineering center, Nissan Technical Center North America (NTCNA), with a more than $40-million Safety Advancement Lab for vehicle safety testing. The new lab brings more efficiency to the vehicle development process and furthers Nissan’s goal of reaching a future with virtually zero fatalities.

The Safety Advancement Lab expansion provides Nissan the onsite capability to conduct 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. The 116,000-sq.-ft. facility is equipped with high-speed photography systems, data acquisition equipment and a precise vehicle tow system. The site also includes a test dummy calibration lab, space for preparing vehicles and a pedestrian safety lab.


Nissan has been a pioneer in electrification since the launch of the all-electric LEAF in 2010, and is currently targeting 40% of US sales to be electric by 2030. The new Safety Advancement Lab is outfitted to evaluate the integrity of high-voltage EV batteries, using more than a decade of best practices.

Here in the Safety Advancement Laboratory, we’re focused on passive safety. 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.

—Mike Bristol, director, Vehicle Safety Test Engineering, NTCNA

Nissan Technical Center North America (NTCNA) currently serves as the main campus for Nissan Motor Company’s Research and Development in the Americas with more than 1,200 employees. Nissan has been committed to research and development in Michigan for over 30 years. The facility houses production engineering, research and testing, purchasing, quality and administration operations.

NTCNA currently develops Nissan and INFINITI US-market vehicles including Altima, Frontier, LEAF, Rogue, Sentra, Maxima, Pathfinder, Murano, TITAN, Versa and QX60. The Michigan-based team tested and validated systems such as Nissan ProPILOT Assist and Nissan LEAF e-Pedal onsite.

This $40-million expansion brings Nissan’s overall investment in Farmington Hills to more than $310 million since opening in 1991.


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