Volvo Group testing safety systems in new full-scale test environment

Volvo Group will be able to test the active safety systems of its heavy vehicles in full-scale test environments at the newly opened AstaZero proving ground, which the company helped develop.

Volvo Iron Mark New Rgb

AstaZero, the world’s first full-scale test track for active automotive safety located in Borås, Sweden, has officially opened. The 2000,000 square meters testing area simulates cities, as well as multilane motorways, and it is here that the Volvo Group will test and develop future safety solutions for heavy vehicles.

When it comes to safety, the Volvo Group’s vision is to have no group vehicles involved in traffic accidents. The group’s safety experts have studied data from traffic accidents since the 1960s, and analyses show that many accidents can be avoided or mitigated before they even occur – by using so-called active safety systems.

Active safety systems prevent accidents by supporting the driver, for example, by providing information or reacting before the driver does. Examples of active safety systems developed by the Volvo Group include collision warning with emergency brake and lane change support.

The AstaZero proving ground has been built and developed in close cooperation with the Volvo Group, with the purpose of testing active safety innovations in full-scale test environments. The testing area, which covers some 2000,000 square meters, is reminiscent of a gigantic movie studio containing nearly six kilometers of rural road with intersections, street lights and bus stops, as well as a city environment where vehicles can be tested in authentic scenarios involving other vehicles in heavy traffic, cyclists and pedestrians, a multilane motorway and an area for high-speed testing. The infrastructure enables connected vehicles to communicate with each other as well as with the surroundings.

“The Volvo Group is the leading provider of safety solutions for heavy vehicles, and AstaZero gives us a unique advantage when developing the safety systems of the future. By using the proving ground’s sophisticated equipment and advanced test environments we will become even better at mitigating real life accidents," says Peter Kronberg, Safety Director at the Volvo Group.

“The cooperation between the industry, the public sector and academia is becoming increasingly more important for Sweden. It is by combining our resources that we will solve the problems of today’s society.”

During the opening of the track on August 21, the Volvo Group will hold a demonstration to show how its electronic stabilization system can prevent long trucks from overturning when taking curves at high speeds, how automatic braking can prevent collisions between a truck and a passenger car, and an autonomous wheel loader.

AstaZero’s focus on safety is evident not only in its offering of advanced safety tests, but also in other areas. A group of frogs living in the area is known to move between its summer and winter habitats twice a year and must be able to continue doing so. So these small critters have been given a natural path to their summer home a safe distance from the road. AstaZero is owned by the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden and Chalmers University of Technology. The Volvo Group is one of the facility’s industrial partners.