Daimler opens new test centre with dedicated AV facilities

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Operations have started at Daimler’s new, €200m (US$235m) test and development centre in Emmendingen, Germany, three and a half years after the groundbreaking ceremony. The facility will be used to test both Daimler’s conventional vehicles and future AV and ADAS features.

The test centre employs 300 staff and includes 30 different test tracks to simulate a wide variety of driving conditions. A large portion of the proving grounds is dedicated to the testing of what Daimler calls CASE technology: connectivity, autonomous driving, shared vehicle use, and electric propulsion.

The site spans 520ha (1,285 acres) of which 100,000m² are reserved for testing highly automated vehicles and ADAS technology. This includes 1.5km (1 mile) of simulated urban roads to test how these functions, in addition to V2X technology, perform in city driving, with its intersections and complicated road layouts.

Ola Källenius, head of group research and Mercedes-Benz cars development, said, “High-tech vehicles require high-tech testing. Our Test and Technology Center in Immendingen offers us many possibilities to test and optimise new technologies, including alternative drive systems and driver assistance systems. At the same time, we can reduce traffic on the roads, for example by relocating endurance testing to our test site.”

By Illya Verpraet

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