Chrysler Invests $30M at Chelsea Proving Grounds for Self-Driving Vehicles
In the past month, Chrysler has put extra effort — and cash — into the field of autonomous vehicle research. Not only has the brand partnered with a technology startup in France focusing on software for self-driving cars, but FCA is spending $30 million to build a new testing and development facility for autonomous vehicles at its Chelsea Proving Grounds in Michigan.
The Importance of Safety Features
The facility began operations in September and features a track dedicated to testing autonomous vehicles at highway speeds as well as a 35-acre area for engineers to evaluate safety features. The former will include obstacles, tunnels, and entrance and exit ramps to ensure the vehicles’ performance on the highway. The latter will enable FCA to ensure that its future vehicles all meet the highest safety protocols put forth by agencies like the IIHS, NHTSA, and EuroNCAP.
New Faces, Familiar Places
“The all-new facility at Chelsea Proving Grounds will help support and enable the successful rollout of the company’s five-year plan laid out earlier this year,” said Mike Manley, Chief Executive Officer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Chief Operating Officer, NAFTA region. “Our ability to test for autonomous and advanced safety technologies enables FCA to offer our customers the features they want across our brand portfolio.”
Chelsea Proving Grounds opened in 1954 and currently covers more than 4,000 acres — including 100 miles of road surfaces for testing.
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