Hungary’s Prime Minister (PM), Viktor Orbán, has opened the first phase of the country’s new ZalaZone automotive test track in Zalaegerszeg, following two years of development. The second phase of the test track is scheduled to open in 2020.
The Ft45bn (US$155m) facility will act as a state-of-the-art proving ground for conventional, electric and autonomous vehicles, and includes a 2km (1.2 mile) handling course for testing stability, steering and lane-keeping assist functions. Other features include a dedicated strip for carrying out ‘moose tests,’ as well as an eight-lane surface for testing braking systems.
The first 5ha area of the smart city zone – for simulating urban conditions – has also been completed. A 2,000m² (22,000ft²) technical building provides enough space to store 16 cars and three trucks, and includes a 300-seat conference room with an area for presenting vehicles. The entire facility has also been equipped with a 5G communications network.
Speaking at the inauguration, Orban said, “The future around us has begun; it is called the digital economy, or Industry 4.0, and this project is the first ticket we have bought for the journey into that future.”