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August 22, 2014

SWEDEN: AstaZero targets more automakers/suppliers to new proving ground

Sweden's new AstaZero proving ground says it is now discussing attracting more automakers and component producers to its site following its official opening yesterday (21 August) near Gothenburg.

Sweden’s new AstaZero proving ground says it is now discussing attracting more automakers and component producers to its site following its official opening yesterday (21 August) near Gothenburg.

Several hundred dignitaries including Swedish politicians, OEMs and suppliers, attended the inauguration in a heavy Swedish rainstorm, while the testing ground also staged a series of autonomous driving and emergency braking demonstrations.

“We are now talking to big car makers and component makers, making them aware there is this facility,” former European automotive supplier association, CLEPA CEO, Lars Holmqvist, who AstaZero invited to sit on the board, told just-auto at the active safety site just outside Gothenburg.

“We also want other universities [as well as partner academic body, Chalmers], because we have a certain amount of funding which can be used for individual research.

“This is purpose built for automotive safety, so we have no competing interest. This area…is totally focused on active safety, which is a huge advantage.

“We believe we have put a hole in the ground in Sweden using [partners] Autoliv, Scania, Volvo and everybody. They can develop things which they have not been able to develop on their own.”

Volvo Cars is heavily involved in the facility, which is in addition to its own test track near Gothenburg, with the group aiming to use the proving ground to help its stated aim of zero fatalities and injuries to those using one of its new vehicles by 2020.

Holmqvist has a bulging contacts book to aid AstaZero from his ten years at the helm of CLEPA in Brussels, where he catapulted the association into front of mind for the European Commission and established the body as a major political player in the Belgian capital.

AstaZero’s industry partners include Volvo Car Group, Volvo Group, Scania and Test Site Sweden.

‘Asta’ stands for active safety test area.

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