BMW Group opens Future Mobility Development Center in Czech Republic

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The grand opening of BMW’s Future Mobility Development Center in Sokolov, Czech Republic, has taken place. Costing €300m (US$334m), this new resource is constructed on a former mining region and has terrain for testing highly and fully automated driving and parking. According to BMW, data from testing carried out at the site will be combined with simulation. More than 100 people are employed there.

“With the new Future Mobility Development Center, we have created a one-of-a-kind test site, designed exclusively for the highly demanding testing of automated driving and parking up to Level 4. On 600ha of land, we test all possible driving conditions with maximum flexibility and tremendous efficiency: city, countryside, freeway, as well as automated parking. We can run our test modules one after the other without stopping. This makes our testing as realistic, reliable and customer-oriented as possible,” said Frank Weber, BMW board member for development.

Throughout the planning and construction of the proving ground, BMW worked closely with specialized ecological construction monitoring. In addition to the use of green electricity, the site is equipped with a water management system that systematically collects rainwater and uses it for track irrigation. The protection and promotion of the local biodiversity were also considered throughout the planning process: amphibian control systems have been installed throughout the site to ensure the safe crossing of animals across the proving ground. More than two million cubic meters of soil previously excavated by nearby mining was used to build the site. Thus, no additional land was sealed, but rather an area that had lain fallow was recycled for “forward-looking technological development”.

“Making mobility electric, digital and sustainable goes beyond our vehicles at the BMW Group. We look at the entire value chain, including our own sites. Together with our partners, we were able to develop a former surface mine site here in Sokolov into a modern and efficient test site and create new, attractive jobs. The Future Mobility Development Center and its charging infrastructure are supplied with 100% green electricity from renewable energy sources. This is another step toward the decarbonization of our sites globally,” said Ilka Horstmeier, board member for people and real estate.

For more on how the facility could be used to benefit your vehicle program, see the November 2022 issue of ATTI.

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Rachel's career in journalism has seen her write for various titles at UKi Media & Events within automotive, tire and marine. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the groundbreaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of transportation.

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