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201204 Jun



Further continuing its tryst with advanced technology and safety principles, Volvo Car Corporation has initiated a grand plan to utilise an entirely new test set up for developing active car safety systems. If things go as per planned then this new facility will soon play a key role behind adding laurels to this luxury car major’s uncompromising stance in offering its customers best-in-class safety features. The intended facility will be developed and operated by the car maker’s Active Safety Test Area AB - ASTA.


Functioning under the AstaZero brand name, ASTA will operate the test facility and it will come up beside Volvo Car Corporation's current core hub at Hällered in western Sweden. As expected, Volvo Car Corporation will be one of the first and major users of the available comprehensive test environments.


Commenting on the upcoming facility, Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Car Corporation, said: "With the new facility we will have access to an excellent tool for the development of tomorrow's intelligent safety and driver support systems.” Sharing views on Volvo’s tryst with passenger amenities and safety principles, he further added: "Volvo Car Corporation is the automotive industry's leader in safety and our engineers are now developing next-generation technologies as another step toward our vision that nobody should suffer fatal or serious injuries in a new Volvo car by the year 2020."


Active safety systems revolve around offering advanced technical solutions to minimise accident rates besides considerably toning down the consequences of actual road mishaps. Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake, City Safety, Driver Alert Control, Cross Traffic Alert and Road Sign Information are recent technical solutions that have emerged out of Volvo Technologies’ automobile arsenal. All of them are fitted with the all-new Volvo V40.


At the AstaZero's new test set up, both cars and the operators behind their wheels will go through grinding test in multiple traffic environments, such as busy and congested urban routes, extra-urban areas, highways, multi-lane motorways and crossroads. A notable factor will be the interaction with other small vehicles, pedestrians, two-wheelers, and heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks and buses.


Various traffic complicacies and driving challenges will be specifically addressed through the upcoming facility. The test run will include such situation when after experiencing tedious highway driving for a long period, unexpected obstacles appear at the front ‘out of nowhere’. It will also include navigation through general inner-city traffic. Dummy vehicles and human dummies will be included to make the trial run a success. During complicated manoeuvres, cars are often subjected to major mishaps. The active safety system will enable to conceptualise and develop effective safety provisions against such unwanted happenings.


ASTA has been designed to achieve the ‘zero vision’, the goal to reduce death or serious injury count due to road accident to ‘0’.


Four main pillars of ASTA:


  • Urban environment with vehicle and pedestrian dummies
  • Multiple lane roads with vehicle dummies in couple of traffic lanes
  • Active safety area, 175 m diameter with acceleration stretches
  • Country road loop for monotonous driving with suddenly appearing obstacles, icy bends, tunnels, rain-fog-smoke, escape areas, crossing scenarios etc.



ASTA is owned by SP (the Technical Research Institute of Sweden) and the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. The facility will start functioning in 2014.



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