Volvo Opens AstaZero, A Fake City For New Car Safety Testing
Sep 09, 2014 11:25
Strict safety laws get imposed by many nations on the world's car makers. They have a duty to ensure the cars they build are safe, strong and reliable. Even budget car brands, such as Dacia and Tata, need to up their game if they want to increase consumer confidence.
When it comes to safety testing, organizations such as NCAP lead the way for comprehensive testing. It’s a well-known fact that the United States is one nation keen on promoting road safety and awareness.
Another is Sweden, the home of popular car maker Volvo. We all know that the Swedish car maker has a reputation for building some of the world’s safest cars. The firm has been under Chinese ownership since 2010, when it got bought from American car maker Ford.
Despite the change of ownership, Volvo has not deviated from their primary goal: to create safe cars that we can all enjoy driving.
According to Harratts Volvo, the Swedish car maker hopes to still be at the forefront of safety with the opening of AstaZero!
What is AstaZero?
After years of discussion, planning and construction, AstaZero was born. But what is AstaZero, I hear you ask?
AstaZero is the name of a revolutionary test track and fake city. Its aim is to allow interested parties to test and develop their future models in a realistic environment.
SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden and Chalmers University of Technology own AstaZero. But the project was a joint venture with Volvo Cars.
Located in the west of Sweden, AstaZero is well-placed for European car makers. They can hire some or all of the facilities.
What’s in AstaZero?
The location is a simulated city and test track area. The entire area includes Wi-Fi access, and there are high-speed Internet access in the control rooms.
To make the “fake” city realistic, AstaZero users can utilise one or more of the “props” for the test location. Fake pedestrians, animals, balloon cars and other materials can all get used there!
As you would expect from an urban environment, there are also road signs, guard rails and refuges on the roads. Lane marking equipment, fog generators and tunnels are also possible in the test environment.
Better at simulating real-life hazards
Peter Kronberg is the Safety Director at the Volvo Group. He said that AstaZero gives them “a unique advantage when developing the safety systems of the future.”
He also said the relationship between industry and the public sector is “important for Sweden.” AstaZero offers a wide range of road layouts and potential traffic situations for testers. It is the perfect place to test out future car safety systems.
At present, car makers build their own small test tracks. But none offers the complex and advanced facilities like at AstaZero.
Places like AstaZero are perfect for technology like collision avoidance systems to get tested. To learn more about the AstaZero project, be sure to visit their website at astazero.com.
What are your thoughts on AstaZero? Feel free to comment below! Thanks for reading.
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