A milestone achievement has been reached in the construction of BMW Group’s US$304m (€300m) new test facility with two test sections going into operation ahead of schedule. Situated in Sokolov, about two-and-a-half hours’ drive from BMW’s FIZ facility in Munich, the Future Mobility Centre is the OEM’s first development site in central Europe. It should be fully operational by mid-2023.
“The BMW Group’s first development location in central Europe creates new opportunities. Sokolov offers ideal conditions and suitable grounds for expanding our test locations. The trusting cooperation with property owner Sokolovská uhelná and all political representatives confirms that our choice of new location is the right one,” said Robert Thurner, BMW Group head of real estate management region Europe, Middle East, proving ground.
The new technology area, which covers approximately 90,000m², has three separate run-up tracks, and is designed for development of assistance systems and behavior in cross traffic as well as emergency braking and evasive situations, as well as being suitable for homologation testing. It features a control room and temporary workstations.
In the immediate vicinity of the new technology area is the 6km autonomous driving highway, a motorway-style circuit with on- and off-ramp setups. It is equipped with two functional lanes and an emergency stop lane as well as gantries and a straight stretch measuring over 1,000m.
“With the early deployment of two track sections to prepare for official vehicle testing in Solokov, we are now testing new assistance systems to look at driver safety and advancing the development of test scenarios. From mid-2023, the new test site in the Czech Republic will operate in addition to the BMW Group’s existing testing facilities in Aschheim near Munich, Miramas in France and Arjeplog in Sweden,” commented Andreas Heb, BMW Group project manager responsible for the testing ground in Sokolov.