FCA US announced that it has invested more than $30 million in its Chelsea Proving Grounds.
The all-new facility, which begins testing programs in September, features a dedicated autonomous highway-speed track, 35-acre safety-feature evaluation area, and a high-tech command center.
The motive behind the company’s investment in this proving ground in southeast Michigan is to play a significant role in the development and testing of autonomous vehicle and advanced safety technologies.
The facility will allow for testing of various levels of autonomy and enables the company to evaluate FCA vehicles using test protocols from third parties, such the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) and European New Car Assessment Program (EuroNCAP), plus additional automatic electronic brake test simulations.
The autonomous highway-speed track offers the capability to develop autonomous vehicle systems under a wide range of challenging environments, including obstacles, tunnels, varying road lighting conditions, and interstate-style exit and entrance ramps.
The command center covers more than 6,500 square feet and houses computer equipment vital to GPS capability and test vehicle communication. The ADAS facility accommodates testing of advanced iterations of automatic emergency braking and automated parking technologies on a new 35-acre paved test facility.
The company’s endeavor to develop autonomous driving technology is not new, FCA is working with Waymo and had recently delivered 100 uniquely-built Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to the company for their self-driving test fleet. The company has also joined hands BMW, Intel and Mobileye to develop an autonomous driving platform.