The Swedish government has opened a groundbreaking new test facility for autonomous vehicles, which boasts the world’s only environment to mix real-world test vehicles with virtual vehicles and offer mixed reality traffic simulation.
AstaZero (Active Safety Test Area and Zero) takes its name in reference to the Swedish Parliament’s vision for road safety with zero dead and seriously injured in traffic, and is located an hour from the city of Gothenburg.
The facility is being hailed as the world’s most advanced test facility thanks to 5G connectivity and the ability to simulate virtually any traffic situation in any city on the planet. It is able to blend the virtual world, for example the iconic Arc de Triomphe traffic system in Paris, France, or Times Square in New York, USA, with real vehicles and real people stationed around the track.
Test environments include a 5.7km rural road lane, a city area with four districts of buildings and streets, and a multilane road for multi-lane traffic. AstaZero is the only one of its kind in Europe, and sets itself apart from other test facilities as its ability to recreate worldwide road scenarios accommodates testing from international research bodies.
As well as the ability to run realistic traffic and real-world applications in the test loop, AstaZero is also able to include theoretical traffic environments that AVs will share the road with such as cyclists, pedestrians and even drones.