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Monday, February 5, 2024 · 0 min read

The List of Automotive Proving Grounds for Vehicle Testing [UPDATED 2024]

This article provides an interactive list of automotive proving grounds for vehicle testing around the world. It will provide useful information to:

  • Learn what are proving grounds are and why we need them

  • See an interactive world map of different proving grounds

  • Find useful information about each proving ground

Are you ready to get started? Let’s go!


Before any new vehicle – whether a car, race car, tank, ship, or motorcycle, driven by gas, diesel, EV/HEV, or alternative fuels - can be launched to the market, it has to be thoroughly tested. Proving grounds or test tracks serve the automotive industry for on-road and off-road vehicle testing. 

In the development process, the performance of a vehicle is put to test in a variety of environments and driving situations. Usually, test cases focus on the dynamic properties of vehicles. Safety is a priority and vehicles are often tested under extreme conditions and speeds.

Until the 1920s, automotive testing was done on city streets and country roads. Proving grounds move vehicle testing from public roads to controlled, secure, and safe testing environments while simulating a wide range of road types and events, all reflecting or relating to the customer's usage of the vehicle.

World map of automotive proving grounds

List of proving grounds by country

Automotive Proving Grounds in Australia
Australian Automotive Research Centre445 Gum Flats Road Wensleydale, Victoria +61 3 5288 7306Proving ground research & development workshops product launches
Holden Proving GroundBass Hwy Lang Lang VIC 3984 +61 1800 033 349Bass Hwy Lang Lang VIC 3984 +61 1800 033 349
Automotive Proving Grounds in Austria
ALP.LAB GMBHInffeldgasse 25F/5 8010 Graz +43 316 873 32941 office@alp-lab.atADAS testing Virtual world testing
Digitrans Office Proving Ground St.ValentinProving Ground St.Valentin DigiTrans GmbH Weindlau 50, 4432 Ernsthofen Digitrans Office DigiTrans GmbH Hamerlingstraße 42 4020 Linz 43 732 60 46 59 office@digitrans.expertUse Cases for automated driving (Commercial vehicles) Sensor Benchmarking in harsh weather and road conditions Automated cargo handling (Hub Zone) Real traffic Scenarios ( City Zone) Euro NCAP ADAS tests Edge case determination and analysis Outdoor ISO noise measurements Off-road tests and durability tests
Automotive Proving Grounds in Argentina
Bosch Winter proving ground TolhuinRuta Nacional N° 3 km 2950, TolhuinPatagonian winter proving ground Tracks for testing motorcycles, passenger cars, and light commercial vehicles
Automotive Proving Grounds in Belgium
Ford Lommel Proving GroundOude Diestersebaan 135 3920 Lommel +32 11 50 68 00Durability tracks Corrosion facilities Funct. Performance tracks Brake tracks Root Cause Investigations Tracks Ride & Handling tracks NVH tracks
Automotive Proving Grounds in Brasil
Cruz Alta Proving GroundIndaiatuba State of São Paulo +55 19 3934-4297Development and validation Different types of pavement Climate and traffic Emission analysis laboratory Vehicle safety laboratory Noise and vibration laboratory Structural testing laboratory Air conditioning ventilation Cooling development laboratory Electronics lab Accelerated durability Level straight Dust Durability Torture Corrosion Circle External noise and side Acceleration Off-road Urban traffic Internal noise Ramps Vehicle dynamics testing area
BridgestoneSão PedroFeld tracks Baking and hydroplaning lane Vehicle dynamics track, vibration, and roughness track Noise and comfort surface applications Braking and hydroplaning lane Aquaplaning evaluations
CTR - Centro Tecnológico RandonEstrada Arziro Galafassi Linha Palmeiro Farroupilha - RS 95180-000 +55 54 3239 1000 campo.provas@fras-le.comEngineering Data analysis Confidential area Freight State-of-the-art technology Dirt road Ramps Pass-by noise level High-speed track Circular track with bumps Circular track Slalom Durability tests
Ford's Tatui Proving Ground (TPG)Rodovia Antônio Romano Schincariol (SP 127) Km 124,5 Bairro Pederneiras Tatuí São PauloHigh-speed track Special surface/low-speed track Handling course Grades Salt bath Environmental exposure area Performance, ride, and handling environmental simulation corrosion testing
Mercedes Benz Iracemapolis Proving GroundSanto Antonio Iracemápolis - State of São Paulo 13495-000Vehicle safety Energy efficiency High-speed testing Vehicle dynamics Noise measurements
FCA Fiat Chrysler Automóveis Brasil Ltda. Campo de Provas de GoiAna - GPGRodovia ROD. BR-101 NORTE, KM 13 AO KM 15 NOVA GOIANA GOIANA 55900000 rosiana.lopes@fcagroup.comSpeed track Comfort track Visibility track Test track
IVECO SETE LAGOAS Proving groundRodovia Mg 238 Km 74 Sete Lagoas Minas Gerais +55 3779-2000Testing for commercial, transport, and defense vehicles Resistance and durability tests Brake testing Noise testing Accelerated structural fatigue track
MAN Resende Proving GroundRua Volkswagen 100 Bairro Polo Industrial Resende Rio de Janeiro +55 (24) 33811081Testing for trucks and buses Ramps with inclines of 20%, 40%, and 60% Noise level testing Driving on off-road terrain Tests on roads and under severe weather conditions
Automotive Proving Grounds in Canada
Magna Steyr337 Magna Drive Aurora Ontario +1 905 726 2462Body exteriors & structures Power & vision Seating systems complete vehicles
PMG Technologies100 du Landais street Blainville Quebec J7C 5C9 450 430 7981Certification and homologation Complimentary services Filming and promotional events Instrumentation Intelligent mobility Research
Automotive Proving Grounds in China
Bosch Winter proving ground YakeshiTest tracks on the lake and land area Office space and garage areas Testing motorcycles, passenger cars, and light commercial vehicles
Bosch Summer proving ground DonghaiTest tracks, buildings and facilities for testing motorcycles, passenger cars and commercial vehicles
Automotive Proving Grounds in Czech Republic
AUREL CZ Development and Innovation Center BřehyněBřehyně 983 472 01 Doksy zdenek.svoboda@aurelcz.euProject management & Engineering Data analysis and evaluation ADAS Tests High-speed track, Misuse obstacles, Dynamic-area, Sloped roads, Water channel, Climaboxes, Electric car chargers and certified or custom-made obstacles Car preparation for crash tests Pedestrian protection laboratory Virtual reality 3D measurements Experimental sensors Constructions and Simulations Data management
AUREL CZ s.r.o.Nádražní 25 293 01 Mladá Boleslav
Automotive Proving Grounds in Finland
Arctic Driving CenterAinonkatu 4-6 96200 Rovaniemi +358 400 341 671 taku.adc@co.inet.fiTesting in cold conditions Durability testing BEV and PHEV services
Asta ZeroAlakorkalontie 18 Box24 96300 Rovaniemi +358 16 321 0000 info@arctictesting.fiCustomized testing environment Durability testing
Test World Millbrook proving groundTestitie 1 99800 Ivalo +358 (0)44 778 8800 office@testworld.fiTires testing Vehicle testing
Lapland Proving Ground Oy99300 Muonio +358 400 800 996 jukka.vuorinen@laplandpg.fiMaintenance and preparation of the tracks Safety and security services Durability testing
IvaloPaldojarventie 463 99800 IVALOTest tracks for snow and ice tests Tire mounting and changes, secure buildings, track preparation Braking and acceleration testing
Automotive Proving Grounds in France
Jules Verne climatic wind +33 (0)1 64 68 82 76Energy & environment Health & comfort Digital technologies Urban development Major structures Transportation Life cycle assessment Solar energy Energy management Sustainable water management Energy performance Energy renovation Heat transfer Acoustics and vibration Lightning Socio-environmental crisis Management Indoor air quality Aerodynamics Climatology Fire safety Earthquakes Economy
TRANSPOLIS620 Route des Fromentaux 01500 Saint-Maurice-de-RémensInfrastructure safety Vehicle testing Urban mobility lab Sensors
UTAC CERAMAvenue Georges Boillot 91310 Linas +33 (0)1 69 80 17 00Regulation & homologation Qualification Testing & expertise Proving grounds Certification Training & consulting
Centre de Technologie de LadouxRue Orange 63118 CébazatHigh speed track Dry handling track Dry dynamic platform Wet handling track Wet dynamic skidpad Wet handling rings Noise test
BarcelonnetteMountain road Altitude: 1,800 to 2,400 m Area for maneuvers Equipment for tire mounting
Bosch Juvincourt proving groundRoute départementale 1044 02190 Juvincourt et Damary Phone: +33 (0) 3 23 25 12 00 Fax: +33 (0) 3 23 25 12 01Test tracks, facilities, and services for testing motorcycles, passenger cars, and light commercial vehicles Driver training Handling course Off-road tracks Circuits NVH track Pipe tracks Parking tracks ESP curves
Automotive Proving Grounds in Germany
ACTS GmbH & Co.Kurfürst-Eppstein-Ring 11 63877 Sailauf +49 6093 9942 0 contact.acts@magna.comCrash testing Endurance & function Safety Dummy services Automotive Motorsport
ATC - Aldenhoven Testing Center RWTH Aachen University GmbHIndustriepark Emil Mayrisch 52457 Aldenhoven +49 2464 9798310 info@atc-aldenhoven.deOval circuit Rough road Vehicle dynamic area Sensor duct Hill section Multi-functional area Intersections/straights Parking area Autobahn Braking test track Handling track
ATP Automotive Testing Papenburg GmbHJohann-Bunte-Straße 176 26871 Papenburg +49 (0) 4961 975 0Test tracking Engineering services Workshops Driving seminars Safety & security
mm-labsStammheimer Straße 10 D-70806 Kornwestheim +49 7154 827 0Consulting Engineering Testing Project management Training
NürburgringOtto-Flimm-Straße 53520 Nürburg +49 (0) 2691 302-630 info@nuerburgring.deCo-pilot rides Drift training Driving Formula training
Opel proving grounds DudenhofenAm Opelprüffeld 3 63110 RodgauHigh-speed circuit Full electrification of the control and measurement
Bosch Boxberg proving groundRobert-Bosch-Straße 25 97944 Boxberg-Windischbuch Phone: +49 (0)7930/600-210 Fax: +49 (0)7930/600-212Test tracks and facilities Vehicle testing for motorcycles, passenger cars, and light commercial vehicles Driver safety training High-speed oval Driving dynamics area Brake-measurements tracks Uphill tracks ISO noise-measurement track
DEKRA Automobil Test CenterSenftenbergerstrasse 30 D-01998 Klettwitz Fax: +49 35754 7345-500Complete vehicle Automated and connected driving Emissions Security pasivo Vehicle endurance test E-mobility
Automotive Proving Grounds in Hungary
AVL ZalaZONE Proving GroundZalaZONE Tér 1. 8900 Zalaegerszeg +36 30 8893359 info@avlzalazone.comDynamic platform Brake measurement track High Speed Handling course Motorway section Smart City (Autonomous driving) AB Dynamics EuroNCAP Equipment Engineering services Workshops Conference Center (up to 300 persons) Electric charging stations Fuel station within PG
Automotive Proving Grounds in India
Global Automotive Research Centre (GARC)Plot E1, SIPCOT Industrial Growth Centre Oragadam Mathur Post Sriperumputhur Taluk Kanchipuram – 602 105 Tamil Nadu +91 44 27143500 and research center for automotive certification and testing Vehicle evaluation laboratory Certification lab Fatigue lab Advanced, passive safety lab Powertrain laboratory Infotronic & CAD/CAE EMC & EMI End of the live vehicle (recycling unit)
National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure ProjectNBCC Place South Tower 3rd Floor Bhishma Pitamah Marg Pragati Vihar Lodhi Road New Delhi - 110003 +91 11 4921 5555 team@natrip.inTesting centers
Automotive Proving Grounds in Italy
Nardò Technical Center A Porsche EngineeringLocalita Fattizze I-73050 Santa Chiara di Nardo (LE) +39 0833 877 111 info@porsche-nardo.comDevelopment process Competence testing Engineering
BaloccoCascina Bella Luigina 3040 Balocco VC +39 0161 873111Road testing track Club and racing events
Automotive Proving Grounds in Japan
Bosch Summer and winter proving ground ShiobaraInternal engineering development Testing motorcycles, passenger cars, and light commercial vehicles
Bosch Summer and winter proving ground MemanbetsuTesting motorcycles, passenger cars, and light commercial vehicles
Automotive Proving Grounds in New Zealand
Southern Hemisphere Proving GroundPO Box 350 Wanaka 9343 +64 3 443 0344 & brake system development ESC, ESP, VSC & Chassis Handling development AWD chassis and electronic Traction control development EPS & steering system development HV/EV/PHEV motor control & Electrical system development High-speed snow dust ingress testing/cooling test NVH development R&H and chassis development HVAC and sub-system development Engine calibration and drive train development Icing durability and chassis Component strength testing Tire development and Certification testing (ASTM, UN/ECE)
Automotive Proving Grounds in South Africa
Gerotek Test Facilities370 Nossob St Erasmuskloof Pretoria 0048 +27 12 428 1911 Research and development Dockyard Defense disposal solutions AB logistic
Automotive Proving Grounds in Spain
IDIADA proving groundPO Box 20 Santa Oliva L'Albornar Tarragona +34 977 166 000 idiada@idiada.comEngineering services Homologation and Product Certification Proving ground
Centro de Experiencias de Almería04100 Nijar-AlmeríaDust test tracks Gravel test tracks Compacted earth surface test track Asphalt test loop 3 km winding test track Handling asphalt test track Off-road circuit Noise measurements tracks Test tracks for comfort & vibration
Automotive Proving Grounds in Sweden
Arctic Falls ABBox 30 942 21 Älvsbyn +46 929 47 47 00 info@arcticfalls.seVarious proving grounds Vehicle testing Tire testing in a cold climate
AstaZero HälleredGöksholmen 1 SE-504 91 Sandhult +46 (0)10-516 61 40Safety test Research and development Vehicle dynamics Driver behavior V2V and V2I Functional reliability Communications technology
Colmis Proving GroundSTORKÅLMIS 11 930 90 Arjeplog +46 (0)961 720 100 info@colmisab.seLand and ice tracks Workshops
IcemakersMaskinvägen 11 SE-938 32 Arjeplog +46 961 329 00 info@icemakers.seTest tracks Endurance testing Cold chambers Testing facilities Charging infrastructure Event facilities
Rajd SystechBox 107 SE-941 23 PITEÅ +46 911 152 00Safety solutions for proving ground management to the global automotive testing industry Standard and customized solutions
Autoliv Test CenterWallentinsvägen 22 447 37 Vårgårda +46 322 626279 thomas.magnusson@autoliv.comDynamic Testing Full Scale Testing Sled Testing Electric Vehicle Battery Testing
Bosch Winter test center VaitouddenBox 79 SE-93894 Arjeplog +46 961 811-000Winter testing of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles Driver safety training Test tracks on the frozen lake Urban driving course Traction hills ABS track Checkerboard µ-split curve Packed snow Dynamic-area
Automotive Proving Grounds in Switzerland
WabcoGiacomettistrasse 1 3006 Bern 31Truck solutions Trailer solutions Bus solutions Car solutions Off-highway solution fFeet solutions
Automotive Proving Grounds in Taiwan
Automotive Research & Testing Center (ARTC)No.6, Lugong S. 7th Rd. Lukang Changhua County 50544 +886 4 781 1222 & energy Proving ground Domestic certification Homologation service Vehicle performance testing Emission & fuel economy testing Automotive light testing Electromagnetic compatibility testing Crash testing, fatigue, and durability Vehicle specification testing Safety testing Component testing CAE Center Calibration
Automotive Proving Grounds in the United Kingdom
Bruntingthorpe Proving GroundBath Ln Lutterworth LE17 5QS FVR9+8G Gilmorton Lutterworth 0116 279 9300 paul.atkin@bruntingthorpe.comVarious proving grounds Vehicle testing Tire testing in a cold climate
MIRAWatling Street Nuneaton +44 (0)24 7635 5000Mobility campus and proving grounds Vehicle development and Attribute engineering Electrification and powertrain and emissions Connected and autonomous vehicles Vehicle resilience Safety systems engineering Body and interiors Unmanned ground vehicles
MillbrookMK45 2JQ Bedford +44 1525 404242 systems Safety Interior systems Tires Special vehicles Type approval Tack and facilities
Automotive Proving Grounds in the United States
AET1420 County Road 1 SW PO Box 458 Baudette MN 56623 1-218-634-2041 aet@wiktel.comA low-temperature test facility Track driving programs
American Center for Mobility2701 Airport Dr Ypsilanti MI 48198 844-226-7178ACM Freeway Loop Willow run bypass tunnel Planet M boulevard Urban arterial ITS and mobility infrastructure Testing support equipment Intertek services Evaluating standards Engineering support services Vehicle evaluation and validation Vehicle garages ADAS testing
Cooper Tire and Vehicle Test Center701 Lima Ave. Findlay OH 45840 419-423-1321 cooperinfo@coopertire.comTire testing Safety
Fowlerville Proving Ground FT Techno of America1750 Smith Road Fowlerville MI 48836 517-223-6777 FPG@ftt-a.comStraightaway Low μ Dynamic pad Oval track NVH & special surfaces Wavy & gavel road Brake hills ADAS pad ADAS city Operations Vehicle evaluation
Global Center for Automotive Performance Simulation1020 Lotus Alton VA 24520 (434) 766-6644Provides accurate and affordable models to support virtual development for the transportation industry tire testing services vehicle development & verification, rural settings Underpasses, overpasss Tunnels and railroad Multiple lane types including One-way, two way Merge and round-about Shared and separated bike lanes Remotely programmable Trafic signals
GS Engineering Inc.47500 US Hwy 41 Houghton MI 49931 906 482 1235Endurance/Durability Testing Performance Testing Functional Performance Vehicle Stability Brake System Testing Development Testing NVH - Noise, Vibration, and Harshness Powertrain Testing Strain and Torque Measurement Suspension Testing and Tuning Thermal Signature and Imaging Tire and Run Flat Evaluation Autonomous Sensor Development Platform
Michigan Technical Resource Park8000 Yankee Rd. Ottawa Lake Michigan 49267 (419) 367-7066 mike.jones@mitrp.comOn and off-road vehicle testing Vehicle & product Development Technical labor services Logistics/warehousing
Navistar32104 State Road 2 New Carlisle IN 46552 +1 (574) 654-4034 judy.worthington@navistar.comBake testing Structural durability testing Specialized vehicle testing Instrumentation & data acquisition
Nevada Automotive Test CenterP.O. Box 234 Carson City NV 89702 775-629-2000 info@natc-ht.comEngineering Testing Custom solutions markets
Ride SolutionsPO Box 234 West Yellowstone MT 59758 406-646-0566Snow traction testing Tire calculation Vehicle/tire handling Track lease/test support Private winter driving instruction Snow drag races
Smithers Winter Test CenterBrimley, MI North America: +1 (330) 762-7441 Europe: +44 (0) 1372 802000 Asia Pacific: +86 512 6253 5569Test by industry-standard and capability Winter testing Ice track
Transportation Research Center10820 OH-347 East Liberty OH 43319 (937) 666-2011Durability testing Dynamic and Performance testing Active and passive safety Emissions laboratory
Chrysler Arizona Proving Grounds1 Proving Ground Rd Yucca AZ 86438 +1 888-614-4328Development and validation testing of new vehicles Vehicle dynamics facility Wet traction surfaces Corrosion/humidity chambers Variety of concrete test surface Variety of gravel and dirt roads Water ingestion test area Vehicle corrosion test chambers - humidity and dying Special test Roads/surfaces for vehicle durability testing Water leak test facility ABS testing
Caterpillar Peoria Proving Ground28194 Caterpillar Ln Washington IL 61571
Milford Proving Ground3300 General Motors Rd Milford MI 48380VDTA (vehicle dynamics test area) Oval tack Circle tack Straightaway Tight curves Vehicle safety & crashworthiness
City of Pittsburgh and the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation InstituteV578+FC, Wingate, PA 16823 814-865-1891Vehicle durability-testing Appurtenance testing Crash testing Autonomous vehicles proving ground ADAS testing
Texas AV Proving Grounds Partnership(979) 317-2823 B-Kuhn@tti.tamu.eduADAS testing
U.S. Army Aberdeen Test CenterMaryland 21005Research and development Testing and evaluation Facilities for military Weapons and equipment ADAS testing
Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) & GoMentum StationWillow Pass Rd Concord, CA 94519Structured scenario tests Scenario testing equipment rental RTK-corrected GPS service across GoMentum Digital Twin Simulator ADAS testing
San Diego Association of Governments(619) 606-3485 with a driver Driverless testing ADAS testing Automated vehicle Real-world environments
Iowa City Area Development GroupIowaAVPG@uiowa.eduNational Advanced Driving Simulator ADAS testing On-Road Testing Closed Course Testing Iowa City/Cedar Rapids Corridor
University of Wisconsin-Madisoncontact-us@uc.wisc.eduADAS testing Crash-testing facilities Driverless vehicle proving ground
North Carolina Turnpike AuthorityTesting of automated vehicle technologies ADAS testing
Laurens Proving Ground2240 Highway 39 Mountville S.C. 29370Special tracks and surfaces for tire and suspension system testing Driver training Tests in the fields of handling, noise, comfort, adherence, and endurance
Utah Motorsports Campus512 Sheep Lane Grantsville, UT 84074 (435) 277-8000 info@umcampus.comMajor, international-standard road course Paved paddock Pit lane garages & rental garage units for race teams Multiple-configuration karting/supermoto track Dirt track and stadium for off-road truck racing
Bosch Winter proving ground Baudette#2 Airport Road Baudette, MN 56623, USA Phone: +1 218 634-5000 Fax: +1 218 634-1416Winter testing of motorcycles, passenger cars, and commercial vehicles Traction hills Checkerboard Vehicle dynamics area Packed snow Handling course Polished ice Cold chamber
Bosch Flat Rock proving groundFlat Rock Proving Ground 3701 Newburg Road Flat Rock, MI 48134 Phone: +1 734/789-2700 Fax: +1 734/789-2772Test tracks for testing motorcycles, passenger cars, and light commercial vehicles Spaces and services for rent High-speed bank Vehicle-dynamics area Hydroplane area ABS area ESP area Hill grade tracks Special surfaces

What is a proving ground?

Proving ground is an area where the performance of a vehicle is put to the test. Proving grounds are generally spread over large areas and roads (usually several kilometers) and facilities to assess the working of various systems and parts of the vehicle.

Mostly, proving grounds are situated far from populated areas. They maintain the maximum possible diversity in drive conditions.

Big automobile OEMs in the auto industry such as General Motors, FCA, Daimler, and several others usually have their in-house proving grounds and test centers to test their own vehicles. But there are several privately owned proving grounds where everyone can reserve their seat for testing.

Types of proving grounds

There are several different types of proving grounds, depending on the type of vehicle being tested. We can classify proving grounds as:

  • Aeronautical Applications

  • Military Applications

  • Automobile Testing (vehicle testing)

  • Marine Performance Testing

  • Aerospace Applications (For test-firing missiles and drones)

This article will focus on Automobile Testing and Proving Grounds.

Vehicle development and testing

Proving grounds enable and support the engineering tasks of validation or verification, inspection, and certification or homologation, and are an efficient means of qualifying the durability of vehicles and their components.

These test facilities are used to expose industry prototypes to the conditions that the final product will experience either in extremes or during its whole lifetime. They achieve this by accelerating damage accumulation rates, so failures are detectable in a short period of time.

Nardo technical center Porsche engineering company

Proving grounds are used by manufacturers of the automotive and automotive supplier industry, companies of technical monitoring, providers of engineering services, institutes and universities, as well as providers of driver safety training. Most automakers own and manage one or more proving grounds, but such services are also supplied by independent companies.

Proving grounds often encompass large and remote areas. They have a range of tracks and facilities to assess the functions of various systems of the automobile in the maximum possible diversity in drive conditions, including testing and development in:

All proving grounds uphold a high level of discretion and security due to protect the commercial interests of their customers. Generally, public access is not permitted and the facilities are hidden from outside view.

Autonomous or driverless cars

All modern vehicles are now equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). The development of such systems requires complex testing, including the ability to control and calculate relative positions between multiple vehicles and objects in real-time.

The next step is an autonomous vehicle that can guide itself without any human conduction. Computers take over actual driving, known as driverless cars, driving robots, self-driving cars, ADAS targets, or autonomous vehicles (AV). 

ADAS testing at Idiada proving ground

Their testing has to ensure that they can drive the roads and keep people inside them as well as that outside safe. The human driver is getting out of the control loop, and new algorithms, e.g. machine learning, are introduced.

The advent of such autonomous vehicles (AVs) or connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) requires new proving grounds specially dedicated to self-driving cars. Traditional test tracks are transformed and adopted for highly automated or autonomous vehicle tests. 

AD functions require much more intense testing and validation procedure than traditional vehicle functions. This demands a complete and consistent verification of the functional specifications. Simulations are becoming more and more relevant and proving grounds are used for verification of the simulation results.

These new testing and validation methods require redesigned and dedicated proving grounds - proving grounds that are similar enough to the real world to do a satisfactory form of testing. Vehicle dynamics testing in itself is no longer enough. Testing of vehicle environment perception capabilities and of vehicle interaction with other vehicles and the infrastructure is in demand, and communication technologies have to be tested as well. 

Proving ground test tracks and facilities

Proving grounds for automobiles most often include:

  • High-speed tracks are specially made for the performance testing of automobiles at high speeds.

  • Slow lane tracks are designed to evaluate the performance of the vehicle during city driving and low-traction driving.

  • Off-road tracks range from second-class roads to wild terrains.

  • Custom tracks are specially made to impose special conditions for which a vehicle is designed.

However, no proving ground or test track is designed the same way. The most general principle adopted is to design the track to suit specific company demands, fit local conditions, and to conform to national rules.

Handling courses

Ride handling prooving ground

Providing a variety of different curve radii, curve slopes, climbing gradients, and downhill slopes for testing the vehicle’s handling in extremely curvy situations.

  • Vehicle behavior

  • Vehicle maneuverability

  • Technical settings under controlled no-traffic circumstances

Comfort roads or ride tracks

Comfort road tracks simulate public road surfaces with conditions that may vary from slightly indiscrete to very severe

  • Comfort and vibration evaluation 

  • Durability verification

  • Assessment of vehicle suspension

High-speed or highway tracks

Speed track proing ground

These are often long (more than 10 km) and have smooth and banked turns and parabolic curves with an inclination of up to 50 degrees, and installations which can generate side wind. Testing is carried out at speeds of up to above 200 km/h (124 mph) depending on the car. While the vehicle is driving the tracks, these data can be obtained.

Slow tracks

These may have potholes, pits, speed breakers, water pits, ambient fog, etc., Cars traveling on these tracks travel at about 10-30kmph. Tests on slow tracks yield the following data:

  • Endurance of body structure

  • Performance of suspension at low speeds

  • Vehicle performance in a corrosive environment.

Rough road

Rough track proving ground

Rough road tracks are used to test suspension and electronics providing different road surfaces. Off-road often cross terrain ranging from mud to hill rocks.

Steep or uphill tracks

Bosch proving ground hills Boxberg

Tracks with different gradients – varying from 5% to up to 30% for the testing of traction control systems and for tests on downhill braking.

Off-road tracks

Dirt track proving ground

Tracks are used to test off-road vehicles with all-wheel drive and differential locking.

  • Traction

  • High-grade performance

  • Suspension performance

  • Steering stability

Noise tracks

Test tracks are used for evaluating the external noise of vehicles. The shape, flatness, and sound absorption properties of the track affect how the sound propagates away from the vehicle. The ISO 10844 standard specifies the design of noise test tracks to minimize the variation of vehicle noise measurements made at different testing locations.

  • Pass-by noise testing

Braking tracks

Tracks with various road surfaces and friction coefficients for simulating all conceivable road conditions – some are floodable. The coefficient of friction of the track varies with different road paving.

  • ABS and tires development and homologation

  • Road driving under low grip conditions

Winter tracks

Winter tyre proving ground test world Ivalo Finland

In some countries, e.g. Sweden and Norway, special tracks or proving grounds are made for testing vehicle prototypes, components, or tires in cold climate conditions.

  • Performance on snow and ice surfaces

  • Whirling snow handling

Most often proving grounds will also provide services such as engine dynamometers, low-temperature chambers, kinematics and compliance rigs, or climatic chambers.

Data acquisition and sensors

Vehicle data acquisition (DAQ) systems are used in the vehicle testing environment for measurements of vehicle performance, vehicle dynamics, vehicle durability, combustion, electric and hybrid engine testing, components testing, and more. 

Such systems typically measure a wide range of parameters like temperature, pressure, velocity, voltage, current, power, loads and strains, consumption, and emissions, while monitoring the vehicle data bus such as Controller Area Network (CAN, CAN FD) channels.

Learn more:

What Is a Strain Gauge Sensor and How Does It Work?Strain and pressure sensors are widely used in many static and dynamic measurements. Learn the best practices and theory behind strain gauge measurement.
Voltage Measurement in Data Acquisition ApplicationsIn this article, you'll learn what voltage measurement is, which voltage sensors and transducers are available today, and the basics of voltage measurement.
How To Measure Current Using Current TransducerWhat is electrical current and how is it measured? Find out in the article and learn the basics of exact current measurements and applications via sensors.
How to Measure Weight With Load Cell SensorsSee how load cell sensors work. Learn how weight measurements are made in science and industry. Understand how you can incorporate them into your testing.

During testing, sensors are attached to various critical portions of the vehicle, such as:

  • Aerodynamic forces and crash forces - capacitive and resistive pressure gauges attached externally on the bonnet and tail.

  • Dynamic loads – accelerometers and vibrometers at suspension linkage (or) wheel hub.

  • Engine revolutions - tachos mounted on the crankshaft or camshaft.

  • Current and power – AC/DC current clamps and transducers on batteries or cabling.

  • Tire loads – pressure sensors in the tire.

  • Structural loads – strain gauges on body and frame.

  • Sounds - microphones mounted onboard or situated along the drive path 

  • Vehicle statistics – onboard sensors.

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Check out Dewesoft's modern, digital data acquisition systems. Our DAQ systems offer complete vehicle testing and data acquisition solutions for testing on the proving grounds.