Fiat Chrysler invests $ 30M in autonomous cars


Fiat Chrysler is deeply involved in researching new mobility solutions. The proof is that the company has just invested $ 30 million in new facilities to test its self-driving vehicles.

The new site, where the test programs will begin in September, will be complete and able to receive all tests designed by the company. This will include an Autonomous Expressway, a 35-acre Safety Assessment Area and a High-Tech Control Center.

At the current test site in Chelsea, Michigan, FCA decided to invest in the development of this test center. The facility will test different levels of autonomy and will enable the company to evaluate FCA vehicles using third-party testing protocols, such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), EuroNCAP Program as well as additional automatic simulations of electronic braking tests.

Everything has been designed to allow a variety of tests and different vehicles. For example, the newly built test highway will provide the opportunity to test autonomous vehicle systems in a wide range of challenging environments, including obstacles, tunnels, variable lighting conditions and ramps, and exit similar to those of traditional highways.

All of these tests will be managed from a central location called the Command Center. This state-of-the-art facilities cover more than 6,500 square feet and is home to computer equipment essential for GPS capability and communication with test vehicles. Those facilities will not only be used to check fully autonomous cars. It will also test partially autonomous systems some of which are already mounted in a vehicle, as is the case of technologies of automatic emergency braking and automated parking. A new paved portion of 35 acres will be used specifically for these specialized tests.