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Opening of AstaZero safety proving ground

21 August 2014

AstaZero is the first full-scale proving ground for future traffic safety solutions, opened in Sweden. 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.

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.

AstaZero’s total surface area amounts to about 2 million square metres with a paved surface of 250,000 square metres. The facility is encircled by a 5.7 kilometer highway connected to a city environment with four blocks, 40 by 25 meters. AstaZero also features a high-speed area consisting of a circle, 240 meters in diameter, with “drop add-ons” joined to a 700-meter long multilane road.

Test environments include:

  • Rural Road. The rural road contains ten different points, both open and concealed, where objects will appear in front of the vehicles. The area is specially designed for different tests of driver behavior and is well-suited for the use of hidden or suddenly appearing obstacles. At the road, there will be two T-junctions and a crossroad with signage in the specified language and changeable to suit customer requirements. The Rural Road will also have bus stops/lay-bys at two locations.

  • City Area. The City Area will primarily be used to test the vehicle’s capacity to interact with the surrounding environment to avoid hitting buses, cyclists, pedestrians or other road users. The area therefore covers a number of different sub-areas, such as a town centre with varying street widths and lanes, bus stops, pavements, bike lanes, street lighting and building backdrops. The City Area also has a road system with different kinds of test environments such as roundabouts, T-junction, return-loop and lab-area.

  • Multilane Road. The multilane road consists of four lanes. These are connected to the High-Speed Area, with an acceleration road that is approximately 300 meters long, 7 meters wide and with turning loop for long vehicles. Several different scenarios can be tested on the multilane road, such as lane changes, different collision scenarios and crossing scenarios.

Volvo Car Group said the opening brings 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. These active safety systems will be the primary focus at the AstaZero proving ground, which is located in close proximity to the Volvo Cars headquarters in western Sweden.

The work at AstaZero will also include the development and testing of autonomous driving technology, an intelligent driver support system designed to reduce accidents while improving the driving experience. Advanced systems are also under progress to further help prevent, for example, inattentiveness and driver fatigue.

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