FCA US (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) recently announced that it has invested more than $30 million (Rs 214 crore) at its Chelsea Proving Grounds in southeast Michigan for the development and testing of autonomous vehicle and advanced safety technologies. The new facility, which begins testing programmes in September, features a dedicated autonomous highway-speed track, 35-acre safety-feature evaluation area and a high-tech command centre.
Mike Manley, chief executive officer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and chief operating officer, NAFTA region said, “Our ability to test for autonomous and advanced safety technologies enables FCA to offer our customers the features they want across our brand portfolio.”
The facility will allow for testing of various levels of autonomy and enables the company to evaluate FCA vehicles using test protocols from third parties such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) and European New Car Assessment Program (EuroNCAP), plus additional automatic electronic brake test simulations.
The autonomous highway-speed track offers the capability to develop autonomous vehicle systems under a wide range of challenging environments, including obstacles, tunnels, varying road lighting conditions, and interstate-style exit and entrance ramps.
The command centre covers more than 6,500 square feet and houses computer equipment vital to GPS capability and test vehicle communication.
The ADAS facility accommodates testing of advanced iterations of automatic emergency braking and automated parking technologies on a new 35-acre paved test facility.