BMW Group shares details of new development site in Sokolov

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The BMW Group — parent entity to brands like BMW, Mini, Rolls-Royce, and BMW Motorrad — is building its first development site in Sokolov, Czech Republic. Here, the automotive conglomerate plans to advance ground-breaking topics, such as electrification, digitalization, and automated driving.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • When will the BMW Group's Sokolov site be fully operational?

    According to the BMW Group, the Sokolov testing facility is expected to be fully operational by mid-2023.
  • What tests will the BMW Group conduct in the Sokolov site?

    Per the BMW Group, the Sokolov site will serve as testing ground for electrification, digitalization, and automated driving.
  • Two track sections from the Sokolov development site have been deployed early to test autonomous vehicles and assistance systems.

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    “With the early deployment of two track sections to prepare for official vehicle testing in Solokov, we are now testing new assistance systems from the point of view of driver safety and advancing the further development of test scenarios. From mid-2023, the new test site in the Czech Republic will operate in addition to the BMW Group's existing testing facilities in Aschheim near Munich, Miramas in France, and Arjeplog in Sweden,” explains Sokolov Testing Ground Project Manager Andreas Heb.

    With the launch of the two test tracks and an exclusive insight into its testing operations, the BMW Group will showcase the first results of its 300-million-euro investment in Sokolov. The testing facility is expected to be fully operational by mid-2023 and will have more than 100 employees working on site.

    Sitting on about 90,000 square meters of land is the New Technology Area. Here the BMW Group sets up three separate run-up tracks that provide optimal conditions for testing assistance systems and behavior in cross traffic as well as emergency braking and evasive situations.

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    The tests are prepared and controlled from the adjoining control room with temporary workstations.

    In the immediate vicinity of the New Technology Area is the six-kilometer Autonomous Driving Highway, a motorway-style circuit with on- and off-ramp scenarios for testing autonomous vehicles on motorways. The test motorway has been equipped with two functional lanes and an emergency stop lane as well as gantries and a straight stretch measuring over 1,000 meters.

    “The BMW Group’s first development location in Central Europe creates new opportunities. Sokolov offers ideal conditions and suitable grounds for expanding our test locations. The trusting cooperation with property owner Sokolovská uhelná and all political representatives confirms that our choice of new location is the right one,” said BMW Group Head of Real Estate Management Region Europe, Middle East, Proving Ground Robert Thurner.

    Photos from BMW Group

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