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!

Introduction

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.

Michelin proving ground for winter vehicle 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.

Nardò technical center - A 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 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). 

ADAS targets on the 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) 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.

Handling Courses

Ride handling proving ground

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

Speed track proving 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’s performance in a corrosive environment.

Rough Road

Rough road 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 Boxberg uphill proving ground

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

Off-road dirt proving ground track

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 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.

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 ice and snow track proving ground

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.

Dewesoft DAQ Systems

List Of Automotive Proving Grounds With Basic Information

Name Contact Services
Australia flag Australia
Australian Automotive Research Centre 445 Gum Flats Road
Wensleydale,
Victoria

+61 3 5288 7306
Proving ground
research & development
workshops
product launches
Holden Proving Ground Bass Hwy
Lang Lang VIC 3984

+61 1800 033 349
High-speed circular tack
Ride and handling road
Rough tracks
Hill route
Twist course
 Belgium
Ford Lommel Proving Ground Oude Diestersebaan 135
3920 Lommel

+32 11 50 68 00 
Durability tracks
Corrosion facilities
Funct. Performance tracks
Brake tracks
Root Cause Investigations Tracks
Ride & Handling tracks
NVH tracks
Brasil flag Automotive Proving Grounds in Brasil
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
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
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
Aquaplaning evaluations
CTR - Centro Tecnológico Randon Estrada Arziro Galafassi
Linha Palmeiro
Farroupilha - RS
95180-000

+55 54 3239 1000

[email protected]
Engineering
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
Canafda flag Canada
Magna Steyr 337 Magna Drive
Aurora
Ontario

+1 905 726 2462
Body exteriors & structures
Power & vision
Seating systems complete vehicles
PMG Technologies 100 du Landais street
Blainville
Quebec
J7C 5C9

450 430 7981
Certification and homologation
Complimentary services 
Filming and promotional events
Instrumentation
Intelligent mobility
Research
Finland flag Automotive Proving Grounds in Finland
Arctic Driving Center Ainonkatu 4-6
96200
Rovaniemi

+358 400 341 671

[email protected]
Testing in cold conditions 
Durability testing 
BEV and PHEV services
Asta Zero Alakorkalontie 18
Box24
96300
Rovaniemi

+358 16 321 0000

[email protected]
Customized testing environment 
Durability testing
Test World Millbrook proving ground Testitie 1
99800
Ivalo 

+358 (0)44 778 8800

[email protected]
Tires testing
Vehicle testing
Lapland Proving Ground Oy 99300
Muonio

+358 400 800 996

[email protected]
Maintenance and preparation of the tracks
Safety and security services
Durability testing
France flag Automotive Proving Grounds in France
Jules Verne climatic wind tunnel +33 (0)1 64 68 82 76

[email protected]
Energy & 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
TRANSPOLIS 620 Route des Fromentaux 
01500
Saint-Maurice-de-Rémens
Infrastructure safety
Vehicle testing
Urban mobility lab
Sensors
UTAC CERAM Avenue Georges Boillot  
91310
Linas

+33 (0)1 69 80 17 00
Regulation & homologation
Qualification
Testing & expertise
Proving grounds
Certification
Training & consulting
MICHELIN Engineering & Services Domaine de Fontange
RN 569
Chemin Chante Perdrix
13300

+33 4 63 21 56 94
Tracks 
Test and measurement
Training
Germany flag Automotive Proving Grounds in Germany
ACTS GmbH & Co. Kurfürst-Eppstein-Ring 11 
63877
Sailauf

+49 6093 9942 0

[email protected]
Crash testing
Endurance & function 
Safety
Dummy services
Automotive
Motorsport
ATC - Aldenhoven Testing Center 
RWTH Aachen University GmbH
Industriepark Emil Mayrisch
52457
Aldenhoven

+49 2464 9798310

[email protected]
Oval 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 GmbH Johann-Bunte-Straße 176 
26871
Papenburg

+49 (0) 4961 975 0
Test tracking
Engineering services
Workshops
Driving seminars
Safety & security
Bosch proving ground worldwide Robert-Bosch-Platz 1 
70839
Gerlingen-Schillerhöhe
Passenger cars and light commercial vehicles
Commercial vehicles
Off-highway and large engines
Two-wheelers and powersport
mm-labs Stammheimer Straße 10
D-70806
Kornwestheim

+49 7154 827 0
Consulting
Engineering
Testing
Project management
Training
Nürburgring Otto-Flimm-Straße
53520
Nürburg

+49 (0) 2691 302-630

[email protected]
Co-pilot rides
Drift training
Driving 
Formula training
Opel proving grounds Dudenhofen Am Opelprüffeld 3
63110
Rodgau
High-speed circuit
Full electrification of the control and measurement
Hungary flag Hungary
ZalaZone Honvéd u. 13-15
1055
Budapest    

+36 92 900 117

[email protected]
Proving ground tracks 
Modules
Dynamical test
Automated vehicle use cases
Technical services - Engineering support
Electric charger and fuel station
Vehicle repairing
Mechanical and electrical workshop
An accredited vehicle inspection station
Australia flag 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

[email protected]
Testing 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 Project NBCC Place
South Tower
3rd Floor
Bhishma Pitamah Marg
Pragati Vihar
Lodhi Road
New Delhi - 110003

+91 11 4921 5555

[email protected]
Testing centers
Italy flag Automotive Proving Grounds in Italy
Nardò Technical Center
A Porsche Engineering
Localita Fattizze
I-73050
Santa Chiara di Nardo (LE)

+39 0833 877 111

[email protected]
Development process Competence testing
Engineering
Balocco Cascina Bella Luigina
3040
Balocco VC

+39 0161 873111
Road testing track
Club and racing events
New Zeland flag New Zeland
Southern Hemisphere Proving Ground PO Box 350
Wanaka
9343

+64 3 443 0344

[email protected]
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 
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)
South Africa flag South Africa
Gerotek Test Facilities 370 Nossob St
Erasmuskloof
Pretoria
0048

+27 12 428 1911

[email protected]
Acquisition
Research and development
Dockyard 
Defense disposal solutions
AB logistic
Spain flag Automotive Proving Grounds in Spain
IDIADA proving ground PO Box 20
Santa Oliva
L'Albornar
Tarragona

+34 977 166 000

[email protected]
Engineering services
Homologation and Product Certification
Proving ground
Sweden flag Automotive Proving Grounds in Sweden
Arctic Falls AB Box 30
942 21
Älvsbyn

+46 929 47 47 00

[email protected]
Various proving grounds
Vehicle testing
Tire testing in a cold climate
AstaZero Hällered Göksholmen 1
SE-504 91
Sandhult

+46 (0)10-516 61 40
Safety test 
Research and development
Vehicle dynamics
Driver behavior
V2V and V2I
Functional reliability
Communications technology
Colmis Proving Ground STORKÅLMIS 11
930 90
Arjeplog

+46 (0)961 720 100

[email protected]
Land and ice tracks
Workshops
Icemakers Maskinvägen 11
SE-938 32
Arjeplog

+46 961 329 00

[email protected]
Test tracks
Endurance testing
Cold chambers 
Testing facilities
Charging infrastructure 
Event facilities
Rajd Systech Box 107
SE-941 23
PITEÅ

+46 911 152 00
Safety solutions for proving ground management to the global automotive testing industry
Standard and customized solutions
Autoliv Test Center Wallentinsvägen 22
447 37 Vårgårda
+46 322 626279
[email protected]
Dynamic Testing
Full Scale Testing
Sled Testing
Electric Vehicle Battery Testing

 

Switzerland flag Switzerland
Wabco Giacomettistrasse 1
3006
Bern 31
Truck solutions
Trailer solutions
Bus solutions
Car solutions
Off-highway solution
fFeet solutions
Taiwan flag Taiwan
Automotive Research & Testing Center (ARTC) No.6, Lugong S. 7th Rd. 
Lukang
Changhua County
50544

+886 4 781 1222

[email protected]
Vehicle & 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
UK flag Automotive Proving Grounds in the United Kingdom
Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground Bath Ln
Lutterworth LE17 5QS
FVR9+8G Gilmorton
Lutterworth

0116 279 9300

[email protected]
Various proving grounds
Vehicle testing
Tire testing in a cold climate
MIRA Watling Street
Nuneaton

+44 (0)24 7635 5000
Mobility 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
Millbrook MK45 2JQ
Bedford

+44 1525 404242

[email protected]
Propulsion systems
Safety
Interior systems
Tires 
Special vehicles
Type approval
Tack and facilities
USA flag Automotive Proving Grounds in the United States
AET 1420 County Road 1 SW
PO Box 458
Baudette
MN 56623

1-218-634-2041

[email protected]
A low-temperature test facility 
Track driving programs
American Center for Mobility 2701 Airport Dr
Ypsilanti
MI 48198

844-226-7178
ACM 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
Cooper Tire and Vehicle Test Center 701 Lima Ave.
Findlay
OH 45840

419-423-1321

[email protected]
Tire testing
Safety
Fowlerville Proving Ground
FT Techno of America
1750 Smith Road
Fowlerville
MI 48836

517-223-6777

[email protected]
Straightaway
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 Simulation 1020 Lotus
Alton
VA 24520

(434) 766-6644
Provides accurate and affordable models to support virtual development for the transportation industry
tire testing services
vehicle development & verification
Gomentum
[email protected]
Urban, 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 1235
Product development
Structural optimization
Weight reduction
Cost reduction
Technology integration 
Failure analysis
Advanced materials 
Intelligent systems
Obsolescence engineering
Testing - validation
Michigan Technical Resource Park 8000 Yankee Rd.
Ottawa Lake
Michigan 49267

(419) 367-7066

[email protected]
On and off-road vehicle testing
Vehicle & product Development
Technical labor services
Logistics/warehousing
Navistar 32104 State Road 2
New Carlisle
IN 46552

+1 (574) 654-4034

[email protected]
Bake testing
Structural durability testing Specialized vehicle testing
Instrumentation & data acquisition
Nevada Automotive Test Center P.O. Box 234
Carson City
NV 89702

775-629-2000

[email protected]
Engineering
Testing 
Custom solutions
markets
Ride Solutions PO Box 234
West Yellowstone
MT 59758

406-646-0566
Snow traction testing
Tire calculation
Vehicle/tire handling 
Track lease/test support 
Private winter driving instruction
Snow drag races
Smithers Winter Test Center            +44 (0) 1372 802000            USA    "" Brimley, MI

North America: +1 (330) 762-7441 Europe: +44 (0) 1372 802000 Asia Pacific: +86 512 6253 5569
Test by industry-standard and capability
Winter testing
Ice track
Transportation Research Center 10820 OH-347
East Liberty
OH 43319

(937) 666-2011
Durability testing
Dynamic and Performance testing 
Active and passive safety
Emissions laboratory
Chrysler Arizona Proving Grounds 1 Proving Ground Rd
Yucca
AZ 86438

+1 888-614-4328
Development 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 Ground     28194 Caterpillar Ln 
Washington
IL 61571
 
Milford Proving Ground 3300 General Motors Rd
Milford
MI 48380

 
VDTA (vehicle dynamics test area)
Oval tack
Circle tack
Straightaway
Tight curves
Vehicle safety & crashworthiness