Hyundai Mobis has opened its own proving ground featuring 14 test tracks including advanced test tracks designed to develop core technologies of autonomous driving. Occupying approximately 1.12 million square meters, it is located in Buseok-myeon, Seosan-si, South Chungcheong Province, Korea.
The proving ground features 14 test tracks including the main office and 4 test buildings. The ground’s construction began in the first half of 2014 and was completed at the end of last year. After undergoing supplementary construction and test operation periods earlier this year, it finally opened this month. The total investment cost of the proving ground is approximately 300 billion Korean Won (About S$368 million).
These tracks provide all kinds of advanced special surfaces, including an advanced track, radar track, tunnel track and a skid pad. The “Advanced Track” and “Radar Track” are test tracks designed for developing autonomous driving component technologies. The advanced track is equipped with a fake city, sound-proof tunnel, forest roads, bus stops and guard rails. Core technologies of autonomous vehicles are tested in the same road environment as experienced by drivers in real driving. In addition, the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) environment will be used for development of a V2X-based autonomous driving system in connection with communications technology. The radar track is a space for testing the recognition performance of sensors including cameras and radars, which are core technologies for autonomous driving.
The tunnel track boasts of having the largest scale in the world. Measuring 30 meters in width and 250 meters in straight distance, this “blackout” environment will be used to conduct vehicle testing for intelligent headlamps, ADAS camera recognition and control tests and country-specific lamp compliance tests.
Another noticeable track is the “circular, broad, uphill low-friction” skid pad. Providing winter road environments such as rainy, snowy and icy surfaces, the skid pad is used to test the steering, braking safety and vehicle dynamic control (VDC) performance of vehicles on slippery surfaces. The skid pad provides a variety of environments including turning (circular) and climbing (uphill) environments. This means winter testing is possible in any of the four seasons. Hyundai Mobis is currently operating winter proving grounds in China, Sweden and New Zealand but these facilities are not operated year-round. For example, the proving grounds in China and Sweden are available only in January through March when extreme environments are present. Seosan Proving Ground is expected to play a pre-verification role ahead of winter testing in the overseas proving grounds.
The new proving ground has a total of four test buildings. The “Performance Test Building” will evaluate the performance and quality of modules and chassis components, while the “Durability Test Building” will evaluate the durability of various components in operation, including steering and braking components and modules. The site operates a test facility dedicated to eco-friendly vehicles as well. The “Environmental Test Building” is a venue for testing the operation and durability of motors, fuel cells and inverters, while the “Battery Test Building” verifies the performance of batteries, including charging and discharging, high and low temp, stability, water-tightness and cooling. To this end, the test buildings accommodate over 380 kinds of advanced test equipment.
“Advanced technologies can also have greater value when they can guarantee the safety of passengers,” said Yang Seung-wook, Hyundai Mobis R&D Executive Vice President. “To realize perfect quality, it is essential to verify the quality of components in our own proving ground.”
Seosan Proving Ground is expected to become a linchpin that will elevate the performance and quality of all auto components produced by Hyundai Mobis in systematic cooperation with the existing R&D centres (one domestic and four overseas). Hyundai Mobis has been strengthening its market competitiveness as a global automotive supplier while securing a wide range of products in chassis, assembly, electronics and eco-friendly technologies. Seosan Proving Ground is also expected to not only test current production components but also play a pivotal role in securing competitiveness in new technologies, including autonomous navigation, eco-friendly driving, connected and biometrics in order to preoccupy the future vehicle market.