Operating under the AstaZero brand name, ASTA will run the test facility that will be located beside Volvo's existing proving ground at Hällered in western Sweden. Volvo Car Corporation will be one of the users of the unique test environments that will be available.
"With the new facility we will have access to an excellent tool for the development of tomorrow's intelligent safety and driver support systems," says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Car Corporation. Active safety is all about technical solutions that help the driver avoid an accident or significantly reduce the consequences of an accident. Some of Volvo's most recent innovations include pedestrian detection with full auto brake, city safety, driver alert control, cross traffic alert and road sign information. These systems are available in the new Volvo V40, for instance.
At AstaZero's new test facility, both drivers and vehicles will be put to the test in a wide variety of traffic environments - busy city roads, highways, multi-lane motorways and crossroads. One crucial parameter is the interaction with other cars, pedestrians, cycles, mopeds, motorcycles, trucks and buses.
The various traffic situations that will be tested include monotonous highway driving with sudden obstacles appearing in the road, inner-city traffic that includes dummy vehicles and human dummies, and multi-lane motorways involving lots of vehicles. It will also be possible to subject long vehicle rigs to highly demanding manoeuvres - all so as to develop even more effective protection against roll-over accidents.
ASTA is owned by SP (the Technical Research Institute of Sweden) and the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. The facility will become operational in 2014.