Tor 23 maj / År 42 / Nr 1 2024

A globally unique test facility for active safety

The latest news in traffic research is the development of active safety systems that make it possible to avert collisions before they happen. When Swedish test facility AstaZero opens in 2014, it will be one of the first facilities in the world to be completely dedicated to the development, testing and certification of this new technology.

“AstaZero will be a commercial hybrid and an open platform, with research and development on one side, and the industrial and commercial aspects on the other. The complex environment creates a unique range of services, which we can supply to national as well as international industry and academia,” says CEO Pether Wallin.

The ASTA Active Safety Test Area AB joint venture project, with its AstaZero brand, is one of the largest national initiatives within the Swedish automotive industry, and arose to meet an industry demand, supplemented with research and development. The project is jointly owned by SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden and Chalmers University of Technology, but a wide range of additional organisations have contributed with both funding and expertise.

One of the driving forces behind these investments is the Swedish government’s vision for zero traffic-related fatalities, suggesting that every effort should be made to prevent people from being killed or seriously injured as a result of road traffic.

“1.3 million people are killed in road traffic accidents every year and between 20 and 50 million people are injured. The societal burden and suffering this causes is unsustainable, so the development of active safety systems is necessary to help us limit future accident statistics,” says Pether Wallin.

Four different test environments
Due to the risk of prototype malfunctions, these innovative safety systems must be tested in purpose-built environments. In addition, in order for them to be as effective as possible, they must also be customised for various different traffic scenarios. AstaZero will therefore be providing four test environments: a rural road with unexpected obstacles appearing suddenly, a city area with vehicle dummies and pedestrian dummies, a multi-lane road with vehicle dummies and a high-speed area with acceleration stretches.

“Together, these four traffic environments make it possible to literally test every single aspect of active safety in one place. Sweden is a global innovator in many areas of road safety, and by linking together our existing national expertise we can now secure our future competitiveness,” says Pether Wallin.