Europe’s largest car-testing facility has focus on autonomous vehicles

ZalaZone designed to help cars find their own way through the world

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Robotic-driving equipment installed in a Mercedes-Benz | AB Dynamics photos

When constructions is completed at Zalaegerszeg, Hungary, the ZalaZone will be the largest automotive testing facility in Europe, and is being built not only for traditional testing and development driving but for evaluating and validating autonomous vehicles and technology.

With that in mind, AB Dynamics, a British supplier, has announced the Hungarian facility has ordered equipment include driving robots, advanced driver-assistance system platforms and a drive-by-wire system for the facility’s self-driving vehicle evaluations.

The ZalaZone test track in Hungary

The ZalaZone has highway and Smart City Zones as well as a high-speed oval and a 1.2-mile handling course. Handling courses typically have been used for fine-tuning driven vehicles, but the one at ZalaZone also is designed for self-driving vehicles.

Construction began in 2017 on the traditional test roads and a second phase, the Smart City roads, is nearly underway. A third phase of construction is scheduled to being in 2022 to add more facilities to the Smart City Zone.

Autonomous vehicles must recognize traffic, pedestrians and where they are going
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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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