Subaru Corporation has completed new test tracks for advanced driver assist technologies at its Bifuka proving ground, in Hokkaido, Japan. The new test tracks will begin use next month.
The proving ground was established in 1995 as a development facility for conducting performance evaluations in cold climates and driving tests on snow. The 361-hectare site includes a variety of test and handling courses, and was expanded to include a high-speed circuit in 2003.
Designed to simulate public roads, the tracks are used to conduct a variety of tests throughout the year. Existing tracks at the proving ground have been upgraded to build the new Advanced Driver Assist Technologies test areas, making conditions closer to those on actual public roads.
BIFUKA PROVING GROUND OUTLINE
High-speed circuit: Total length 4.2 km (existing high-speed course upgraded to bring it closer to actual road conditions)
- New gentle curves simulating those on motorways
- New entry and exit lanes, simulating interchanges and service areas on motorways
- New multi-lane track, simulating a four-lane road
- New concrete paved road simulating North American freeway surfaces
Urban road course
- New urban road course, simulating two-way traffic on roads
- Road forms designed to resemble actual conditions, including intersections with and without turning lanes, guiding zones (pedestrian crossings)
- A roundabout intersection
- The general test tracks have been expanded and new functions added
- The proving ground’s administration building has been rebuilt.
As part of initiatives to strengthen the brand, set out in its mid-term management vision, Subaru Corporation is pursuing technological development with the aim of becoming the top automotive company for overall safety.
Subaru is particularly focused on further enhancement of the EyeSight® driver assist system. The new Japan domestic market Levorg and WRX S4 models, released in August, are both fitted with Touring Assist, a new feature added to EyeSight, as standard equipment.
The new test tracks will be used to further accelerate the development needed for driver assist technologies, as they become increasingly advanced. By 2020, Subaru plans to offer an automated lane-changing function, by adding minimal devices such as digital maps, GPS, and radar to the EyeSight stereo camera.
The company also aims to develop an EyeSight-based technology that prevents collisions with vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians at intersections.