Fiat Chrysler invests $30 million into AV testing site in U.S.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is investing $30 million into a new testing facility for autonomous vehicles at the company's proving grounds in Chelsea, Michigan.
The testing site, which is expected to begin programs this month, will be used to reproduce a range of "challenging environments" on the autonomous highway speed track, including obstacles, tunnels and different road lighting conditions, as well as interstate-style exit and entrance ramps, the automaker said in a statement on Wednesday.
An FCA spokeswoman declined to discuss further details on the vehicles that will be tested and the different levels of autonomy. The automaker anticipates that new positions will be created as a result, but would not disclose numbers or the types of positions, the spokeswoman wrote in an email to Automotive News.
"The all-new facility at Chelsea Proving Grounds will help support and enable the successful rollout of the company's five-year plan laid out earlier this year," CEO Mike Manley said in a statement. "Our ability to test for autonomous and advanced safety technologies enables FCA to offer our customers the features they want across our brand portfolio."
The automaker will perform testing of "various levels of autonomy" and will evaluate FCA vehicles through test protocols from third parties such as, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, U.S. New Car Assessment Program and the European New Car Assessment Program.
The center will also allow testing of advanced driver assistance systems such as automatic emergency braking and automated parking technologies, and it will run simulations of automatic electronic brake tests.
The site contains a 35-acre safety-feature evaluation area, and a 6,500-square-foot command center for equipment intended for GPS capabilities and test vehicle communication, FCA said.