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Auburn University

Auburn University now has a research facility for autonomous driving.

It was announced as early as last summer that Auburn University, in cooperation with other partners, was planning to expand the test track at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT). Now the test track has been put into operation. Important data for the development of modern technology will be collected there.

The test site includes a 2.7-kilometer oval test track, workshops, parking lots and office space. The test site can be used for both passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Specifically, the aim is to test autonomous driving in all its facets.

It is hoped that the test track will not only provide a source of income, but also establish the relevant industry in the vicinity of the test track in the US state of Alabama. In the U.S., there is still no uniform law on testing technology, which is why there is a patchwork of different regulations. This means that the states are competing with each other, because the industry has a promising future.

The conditions on the ground are right, because autonomous driving is still a fair-weather event. But it still needs plenty of testing and appropriate proving grounds in cooler regions, where the vehicles will eventually have to prove themselves.

But many companies are also looking north, where more wintry conditions can be found. For example, industry leader Waymo is also conducting tests in the snow in Michigan. In Europe, one of the most wintry test tracks is in Finland.

Tilke builds such test tracks where they are needed.

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