A Swedish government owned company has unveiled the AstaZero 5G proving ground, claiming it is the world’s most advanced testing facility for self-driving vehicles. The site is owned and operated by the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), a state-owned enterprise, in partnership with the local Charmers University.
The facility was originally established in 2014 as a test facility for Uber and has since been upgraded. It is now open to other companies and organisations.
The AstaZero facility uses mixed reality blending test vehicles with virtual vehicles to “simulate virtually any traffic situation in any city on the planet”. It can blend the virtual world, such as the Arc de Triomphe traffic system in Paris or Time Square in New York, with real vehicles and real people around the track.
Using 5G connectivity and distributed cloud services, the facility enables advanced real-time data analysis which engineers at AstaZero believe will speed up development 10-fold.
“The automotive industry clearly needs better, faster and much more complex test facilities before new self-driving products can be safely tested on public roads. AstaZero is unveiling the world’s most advanced test environment with 5G speed and accuracy that can replicate real-world traffic complexity unlikely anything that’s been seen before”, stated CEO of AstaZero, Peter Janvik.
AstaZero currently caters for five different test environments: bike test area, city area, a multilane road, rural road and a flexible high speed area. This comprehensive set of key environments is hoped to avoid the need for further on-the-road testing, which has gained criticism following the recent fatal incidents involving autonomous vehicles on public roads.