September 5, 2018 - FCA US announced that it has invested more than $30 million at its Chelsea Proving Grounds in southeast Michigan to further development and testing of autonomous vehicles and advanced safety technologies.
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 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,” Mike Manley, Chief Executive Officer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and Chief Operating Officer, NAFTA region, said. “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 facility will enable testing of various levels of autonomy and let the company evaluate FCA vehicles using test protocols from third parties, such the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, U.S. New Car Assessment Program and European New Car Assessment Program, 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 of more than 6,500 square-feet houses computer equipment vital to GPS capability and test vehicle communication.
The advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) facility accommodates testing of advanced iterations of automatic emergency braking and automated parking technologies on a new 35-acre paved test facility.
The Chelsea Proving Grounds covers nearly 4,000 acres, boasts a road-surface total of 100 miles and features off-road replicas of the Rubicon and other challenging trails. The site is in operation seven days a week, 365 days a year.