Starting signal for the future of automated transport. Digitrans expands the proving ground in St. Valentin
The expansion of the proving ground in St. Valentin marks an important step towards the mobility of the future. On May 31, 2021, work began on expanding the existing test site on the grounds of the Magna Powertrain Engineering Center Steyr in St. Valentin. A state-of-the-art test infrastructure for automated vehicle technologies is to be created in order to develop, test and verify safe, connected and autonomous driving in Austria. After the conversion, the proving ground will be specifically designed to test automated vehicle technologies under difficult weather and road conditions.
In the long term, the expansion of the proving ground in St. Valentin should help to increase transport and traffic safety, increase technology acceptance and promote the implementation of climate-neutral freight mobility concepts. This should lead to new and cost-efficient transport solutions and sustainable business models for the future of automated transport.
Project goals of the extension of the proving ground to the Test Center for Automated Driving in St. Valentin
The primary goal is to establish a test infrastructure for autonomous vehicle technologies in order to develop, test and verify safe, connected and autonomous driving in Austria.
- Test a wide variety of traffic scenarios under real-life conditions
- Test and validate sensors, cameras and software in adverse weather and road conditions
- Test and further develop connected and cooperative driving using C-ITS and 5G
- Generate test data and make it available for research and development
- Create basis for certifications of autonomous and automated vehicles and commercial vehicles
- Fast and safe implementation of autonomous and automated vehicles and commercial vehicles in real traffic
- Expanding the business location by strengthening its attractiveness & international competitiveness
Roadmap and expansion phases of the proving ground in St. Valentin
The test site of the Magna Powertrain Engineering Center Steyr already features classic test elements such as asphalt tracks with different road markings, driving dynamics surface, bad road tracks, twisting tracks, off-road terrain, different gradients and traffic circles. By summer 2022, the proving ground is to be fully expanded in 2 phases into a test center for automated commercial vehicles.
- Phase 1, 2021 (Auffahrt 1)
Infrastructure investments – primarily for test areas of passenger cars, : roads, intersections, traffic circles, highway sections, driving dynamics area (phase 1), control room, pavement markings, lighting system, rain system, traffic light system (C-ITS).
- Phase 2, 2022: (Auffahrt 2)
Test areas for trucks: lift zone and city zone as well as loading ramps and entrance gates, driving dynamics area (phase 2)
Future highlights on the proving ground in St. Valentin
- Simulation of weather conditions, with Europe’s first outdoor rain facility to compare the performance of autonomous vehicle technologies under different road conditions, precipitation amounts and droplet sizes.
- 5G / C-ITS Testfield: highly digitalized infrastructure for integrated testing of automated and connected vehicle technologies.
- City Zone for wide coverage of real-world traffic scenarios.
- Hub Zone for testing automated logistics activities with 2700m2 of maneuvering areas, loading and unloading zones, and adjustable ramps and entry gates
Additional project information
- Project name:
Extension of the Digitrans proving ground in St. Valentin.
Autonomous driving vehicles – extension of test track
(Autonomfahrende Fahrzeuge – Ausbau Teststrecke , Auffahrt 1 / Auffahrt 2)
- Name of the beneficiary: Digitrans GmbH / CEO DI Eva Tatschl-Unterbeger, MBA
- Project start: March 2020 / Project end: August 2022
- Total amount of eligible expenses: € 2.5 million
- Location information: Areal Engineering Center Steyr, St. Valentin, Weindlau, 4432 Ernsthofen, Austria