Volvo’s AstaZero Autonomous Vehicle Testing Ground Now Open

Volvo Car Group;’s autonomous driving improvements are forging ahead with the opening of AstaZero, the world’s first full-scale proving ground for future traffic safety solutions.

The company said its opening has brought it a step closer to realizing its vision that by 2020 no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car.

An important measure towards achieving this goal will be the development of active safety systems, which will help to prevent accidents, said Volvo. These active safety systems will be the primary focus at AstaZero proving ground, located in close proximity to the Volvo Cars headquarters in western Sweden. One of the facility’s greatest assets is said to be its flexibility, with a design that permits the construction of unique, customized environments.

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Volvo explained the center can accommodate a wide range of test conditions, such as those found on busy city roads, highways, multi-lane highways and crossroads. These conditions are crucial for studying the way cars interact with moving obstacles such as other cars, pedestrians, cycles, mopeds, motorcycles, trucks, buses and even animals that suddenly appear. With safety in mind, in certain studies like those involving complex traffic situations and high speeds, robots will operate the test vehicles.

Based upon the collaboration between academia, industry and the authorities, the AstaZero facility will serve as an open, international platform for all interested stakeholders like vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, legislators, road agents, universities, and technical institutes from around the world, explained Volvo.

AstaZero’s industry partners consist of Volvo Car Group, Volvo Group, Scania, Autoliv and Test Site Sweden. The name Asta (Active Safety Test Area) relates to the facility’s connection to a vision of zero traffic fatalities.