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Swedes develop sci-fi style car test site

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16:18 CEST+02:00
A Swedish company has become the first in the world to develop a so-called active safety test site, which it is hoped will ultimately drastically reduce the number of car accidents.

Asta Zero, an acronym for Active Safety Test Area, is to develop the safety testing track at Hällered, near Borås to try out technologies like robot driven cars, which can avoid bumping into each other, with computers in effect, taking over the control of the vehicle in potentially dangerous situations.

“We are the first in the world to be developing active safety. Other test sites are used to minimise crash damage and test speed control, but ours is unique. The Zero in our name signifies 'zero vision' where the driver has no impact on the control of the car any more," managing director Pether Wallin told The Local.

The ambitious project brings together universities, research institutes and car industry representatives forming what Wallin describes as a “cluster of knowledge”.

Further support, financially as well as from a research perspective, include Volvo, Volvo Car Corporation, Saab Automobile, Scania, SRA, Västra Götaland, VINNOVA and the Growth Board, together with the two owners of SP and Chalmers, in the project which is estimated at some 350 million ($53.7 million).

"We have signed a contract for the land, so now we must go through planning permission and project scoping stages,” said Wallin.

Wallin is confident building work can begin next year.

"All being well, the project will be ready for a full roll out in summer 2012," he told The Local.

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