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 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 a 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 the 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 customers' usage of the vehicle.
World Map Of Automotive Proving Grounds
What Is a Proving Ground
Proving ground is an area where the performance of a vehicle is put to the test. Proving grounds 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 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
- 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 life-time. They achieve this by accelerating damage accumulation rates, so failures are detectable in a short period of time.
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:
- Durability testing,
- Corrosion testing,
- Functional performance,
- Brake testing,
- Ride and handling (Vehicle Dynamics),
- NVH - Noise, Vibration, and Harness,
- Powertrain testing.
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 being 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 the actual driving, known as a driverless car, driving robots, self-driving car, ADAS targets, or autonomous vehicle (AV).
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) require 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 simulations 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 to 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 specially made for performance testing of automobiles at high speeds.
- Slow lane tracks designed to evaluate the performance of the vehicle during city driving and low-traction driving.
- Off-road tracks ranging from second class roads to wild terrains.
- Custom tracks, 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.
Providing a variety of different curve radii, curve slopes, climbing gradients, and downhill slopes for testing the vehicle’s handling in extreme 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
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.
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’s performance in a corrosive environment.
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.
- Internal noise
- Comfort and vibration evaluation
- Low-speed handling
- Endurance of body structure
Steep or Uphill Tracks
Tracks with different gradients – varying from 5% to up to 30% for the testing of traction control systems and for tests on downhill braking.
Tracks are used to test off-road vehicles with all-wheel drive and differential locking.
- High-grade performance
- Suspension performance
- Steering stability
Test tracks 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.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
List Of Automotive Proving Grounds With Basic Information
|Australian Automotive Research Centre||445 Gum Flats Road
+61 3 5288 7306
research & development
|Holden Proving Ground||Bass Hwy
Lang Lang VIC 3984
+61 1800 033 349
|High-speed circular tack
Ride and handling road
|Cruz Alta Proving Ground||Indaiatuba
State of São Paulo
+55 19 3934-4297
|Development 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
External noise and side Acceleration
Vehicle dynamics testing area
|Bridgestone||São Pedro||Feld tracks
Baking and hydroplaning lane
Vehicle dynamics track, vibration, and roughness track
Noise and comfort surface applications
Braking and hydroplaning lane
|CTR - Centro Tecnológico Randon||Estrada Arziro Galafassi
Farroupilha - RS
+55 54 3239 1000
Pass-by noise level
Circular track with bumps
|Magna Steyr||337 Magna Drive
+1 905 726 2462
|Body exteriors & structures
Power & vision
Seating systems complete vehicles
|PMG Technologies||100 du Landais street
450 430 7981
|Certification and homologation
Filming and promotional events
|Arctic Driving Center||Ainonkatu 4-6
+358 400 341 671
|Testing in cold conditions
BEV and PHEV services
|Asta Zero||Alakorkalontie 18
+358 16 321 0000
|Customized testing environment
|Test World||Testitie 1
+358 (0)44 778 8800
|Lapland Proving Ground Oy||99300
+358 400 800 996
|Maintenance and preparation of the tracks
Safety and security services
|Jules Verne climatic wind tunnel||+33 (0)1 64 68 82 76
|Energy & environment
Health & comfort
Life cycle assessment
Sustainable water management Energy performance
Acoustics and vibration
Socio-environmental crisis Management
Indoor air quality
|TRANSPOLIS||620 Route des Fromentaux
Urban mobility lab
|UTAC CERAM||Avenue Georges Boillot
+33 (0)1 69 80 17 00
|Regulation & homologation
Testing & expertise
Training & consulting
|MICHELIN Engineering & Services||Domaine de Fontange
Chemin Chante Perdrix
+33 4 63 21 56 94
Test and measurement
|ACTS GmbH & Co.||Kurfürst-Eppstein-Ring 11
+49 6093 9942 0
Endurance & function
|ATC - Aldenhoven Testing Center
RWTH Aachen University GmbH
|Industriepark Emil Mayrisch
+49 2464 9798310
Vehicle dynamic area
Braking test track
|ATP Automotive Testing Papenburg GmbH||Johann-Bunte-Straße 176
+49 (0) 4961 975 0
Safety & security
|Bosch worldwide||Robert-Bosch-Platz 1
|Passenger cars and light commercial vehicles
Off-highway and large engines
Two-wheelers and powersport
|mm-labs||Stammheimer Straße 10
+49 7154 827 0
+49 (0) 2691 302-630
|Opel proving grounds Dudenhofen||Am Opelprüffeld 3
Full electrification of the control and measurement
|ZalaZone||Honvéd u. 13-15
+36 92 900 117
|Proving ground tracks
Automated vehicle use cases
Technical services - Engineering support
Electric charger and fuel station
Mechanical and electrical workshop
An accredited vehicle inspection station
|Global Automotive Research Centre (GARC)||Plot E1, SIPCOT Industrial Growth Centre
Kanchipuram – 602 105
+91 44 27143500
|Testing and research center for automotive certification and testing
Vehicle evaluation laboratory
Advanced, passive safety lab
Infotronic & CAD/CAE
EMC & EMI
End of the live vehicle (recycling unit)
|National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project||NBCC Place
Bhishma Pitamah Marg
New Delhi - 110003
+91 11 4921 5555
|Nardò Technical Center
A Porsche Engineering
Santa Chiara di Nardo (LE)
+39 0833 877 111
|Development process Competence testing
|Balocco||Cascina Bella Luigina
+39 0161 873111
|Road testing track
Club and racing events
|Southern Hemisphere Proving Ground||PO Box 350
+64 3 443 0344
|BAS & 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
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)
|Gerotek Test Facilities||370 Nossob St
+27 12 428 1911
Research and development
Defense disposal solutions
|IDIADA||PO Box 20
+34 977 166 000
Homologation and Product Certification
|Arctic Falls AB||Box 30
+46 929 47 47 00
|Various proving grounds
Tire testing in a cold climate
|AstaZero Hällered||Göksholmen 1
+46 (0)10-516 61 40
Research and development
V2V and V2I
|Colmis Proving Ground||STORKÅLMIS 11
+46 (0)961 720 100
|Land and ice tracks
+46 961 329 00
|Rajd Systech||Box 107
+46 911 152 00
|Safety solutions for proving ground management to the global automotive testing industry
Standard and customized solutions
|Automotive Research & Testing Center (ARTC)||No.6, Lugong S. 7th Rd.
+886 4 781 1222
|Vehicle & energy
Vehicle performance testing
Emission & fuel economy testing
Automotive light testing
Electromagnetic compatibility testing
Crash testing, fatigue, and durability
Vehicle specification testing
|Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground||Bath Ln
Lutterworth LE17 5QS
0116 279 9300
|Various proving grounds
Tire testing in a cold climate
+44 (0)24 7635 5000
|Mobility campus and proving grounds
Vehicle development and Attribute engineering
Electrification and powertrain and emissions
Connected and autonomous vehicles
Safety systems engineering
Body and interiors
Unmanned ground vehicles
+44 1525 404242
Tack and facilities
|AET||1420 County Road 1 SW
PO Box 458
|A low-temperature test facility
Track driving programs
|American Center for Mobility||2701 Airport Dr
|ACM Freeway Loop
Willow run bypass tunnel
Planet M boulevard
ITS and mobility infrastructure
Testing support equipment
Engineering support services
Vehicle evaluation and validation
|Cooper Tire and Vehicle Test Center||701 Lima Ave.
|Fowlerville Proving Ground
FT Techno of America
|1750 Smith Road
NVH & special surfaces
Wavy & gavel road
|Global Center for Automotive Performance Simulation||1020 Lotus
|Provides accurate and affordable models to support virtual development for the transportation industry
tire testing services
vehicle development & verification
|Urban, rural settings
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
906 482 1235
Testing - validation
|Michigan Technical Resource Park||8000 Yankee Rd.
|On and off-road vehicle testing
Vehicle & product Development
Technical labor services
|Navistar||32104 State Road 2
+1 (574) 654-4034
Structural durability testing Specialized vehicle testing
Instrumentation & data acquisition
|Nevada Automotive Test Center||P.O. Box 234
|Ride Solutions||PO Box 234
|Snow traction testing
Track lease/test support
Private winter driving instruction
Snow drag races
|Smithers Winter Test Center +44 (0) 1372 802000 USA ""||
Europe: +44 (0) 1372 802000
Asia Pacific: +86 512 6253 5569
Test by industry-standard and capability
|Transportation Research Center||10820 OH-347
Dynamic and Performance testing
Active and passive safety
|Chrysler Arizona Proving Grounds||1 Proving Ground Rd
|Development and validation testing of new vehicles
Vehicle dynamics facility
Wet traction surfaces
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
|Caterpillar Peoria Proving Ground||28194 Caterpillar Ln
|Milford Proving Ground||3300 General Motors Rd
|VDTA (vehicle dynamics test area)
Vehicle safety & crashworthiness