World’s first full scale test environment for future road safety: AstaZero

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Asta Zero’s test track

AstaZero is the world’s first full-scale test environment for future road safety. What is unique about the facility is that the different traffic environments make it possible to test advanced safety systems and their functions for all kinds of traffic and traffic situations. This enables research, development and certification of future road safety systems, and functions as an international arena open for vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, legislators, universities and colleges from throughout the world.

The name is a combination of ASTA Active Safety Test Area and Zero, which refers to the Swedish Parliament’s vision for road safety with zero dead and seriously injured in traffic.

One of AstaZero´s primary objectives is to strive to meet Vision Zero, since traffic and road use is a major and increasing cause of fatalities around the world.

Every year some 1.3 million people die as a result of road traffic accidents. In addition, about 20 to 50 million people sustain non-fatal injuries. More than half of the casualties are pedestrians, cyclists or other road users, not travelling in a car. If no action is taken to address the current crisis, global road traffic fatalities are forecast to double by 2030, becoming the fifth leading cause of death.

In addition to human suffering, this would also put an extreme burden on society. A burden we can ill afford, neither financially nor in the context of our health care systems.

Due to this risk, the UN General Assembly proclaimed “A Decade of Action for Road Safety” in 2010. The goal of the Decade is to save lives, challenging the countries of the world to increase their own national, and global, road safety work to prevent road traffic deaths and injuries worldwide.

The EU has also set ambitious goals for road safety. According to the 2011-2020” (EU893) policy the objective is that member countries must together have reduced the number of road accidents by 50 per cent by the year 2020. Active safety, as well as test facilities where new techniques can be tested, will play a part in the contribution of making this vision reality.

Design: AstaZero’s total surface area amounts to about 2,000,000 square metres (200ha) with a paved surface of 250,000 square metres (25ha). The facility is encircled by a 5.7km highway connected to a city environment with four blocks, 40m by 25m. AstaZero also features a high-speed area consisting of a circle, 240m in diameter, with “drop add-ons” joined to a 700m long multi-lane road.

Test environments

Rural Road: The rural road contains ten different points, both open and concealed, where objects will appear in front of the vehicles. The area is specially designed for different tests of driver behaviour and is well-suited for the use of hidden or suddenly appearing obstacles. At the road, there will be two T-junctions and a crossroad with signage in the specified language and changeable to suit customer requirements. The Rural Road will also have bus stops/lay-bys at two locations.

City Area: The City Area will primarily be used to test the vehicle’s capacity to interact with the surrounding environment to avoid hitting buses, cyclists, pedestrians or other road users. The area therefore covers a number of different sub-areas, such as a town centre with varying street widths and lanes, bus stops, pavements, bike lanes, street lighting and building backdrops. The City Area also has a road system with different kinds of test environments such as roundabouts, T-junction, return-loop and lab-area.

Multi-lane Road: The Multi-lane road consists of four lanes. These are connected to the High-Speed Area, with an acceleration road that is approximately 300m long, 7m wide and with a turning loop for long vehicles. Several different scenarios can be tested on the multi-lane road, such as lane changes, different collision scenarios and crossing scenarios.

High-Speed Area: Located in the centre of the facility, the High-Speed Area consists of two acceleration roads. Acceleration road one is approximately 1km long. In addition to the two acceleration roads, it is also possible to use the Multi-lane Road for acceleration, which means vehicles can enter the High-Speed Area from three different directions. In this area, focus will primarily be on vehicle dynamics like avoidance manoeuvres at very high speeds.

AstaZero Location:

The test site is strategically placed in the centre of the West Sweden automotive cluster and the assembled expertise that exists within the field of safety. For more related information, see Sweden and traffic safety.

Services:

  • Unique environments to build any scenario in order to develop, test or certify new traffic safety solutions; making it possible to test literally all aspects of active safety in one place.
  • Centre of Excellence in development of methods and test equipment.
  • Test ground cooperation
  • Simulation of the entire test site to run pre-tests or for the early stages of research and development.
  • A high level of service where a customer´s problem and its solution are the focus of the entire operation.
  • Demonstration facility and assistance with product launches, conferences and corporate events.

AstaZero does not only provide a unique test environment, but also help clients to analyse and draw conclusions from results by supplying research engineers and other technicians who can assist in testing, development and research projects. In time, this will create an even higher level of analytical expertise around the automotive industry in Sweden, which will benefit international customers because it will allow them to test all aspects of active safety in one place.

In addition to the opportunity for testing, research and development, AstaZero also host demonstrations and assist with product launches, conferences and corporate events.

Learn more about AstaZero at www.astazero.com

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Author: MyMotorWheels

I am a mechanical engineer and an automobile enthusiast.

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