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New test track will improve future road safety

Photo: AstaZero

​The world’s first full-scale testing environment for the road safety solutions of the future opened on 21 August.

The AstaZero test track outside Borås, Sweden, is designed to attract vehicle manufacturers and road safety developers from all over the world to test innovative active safety products. The idea is to prevent accidents with the aid of new technology.

Testing in real settings

AstaZero is a test track for trials of ‘active road safety systems’ for road vehicles and infrastructure. The facility is unique in that users can test the interaction between all types of road traffic in different settings, including urban and rural roads and motorways.

AstaZero contains simulated environments where new preventive technical safety systems in road vehicles can be tested in as real a setting as possible, to find out how the systems should be set up and hence to prevent collisions. These are active systems installed in cars, which apply the brakes and avoid obstacles.

COWI has helped shape the future

AstaZero stands for ‘Active Safety Test Area Zero’ and is meant to contribute to the Swedish Transport Administration’s ‘zero vision’ – a future in which people are not killed or maimed for life on the roads.

COWI handled the detailed project management of the whole facility, covering all disciplines. The assignment included detailed design of the test tracks, the simulated urban environment and the buildings on the site.

A challenging project

Particular challenges during the project were difficult ground conditions, as the test tracks cross large marshy areas, and the need to ensure that there was no subsidence on the high-speed tracks. It was also essential to keep to the timetable, another major challenge.

“It was a large and enjoyable assignment for us, which called for lots of creativity and flexibility. We were given great responsibility when it came to running and shaping the project. It was also really good to have automotive firms as customers,” says Christer Niland,Vice President Transportation at COWI.


By Malena Bergkvist
Published 22.08.2014


  • is owned by SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden and Chalmers
  • has cost half a billion SEK to build
  • was financed in collaboration with Volvo Cars, AB Volvo, Autoliv, Scania, the Swedish Transport Agency, the Västra Götaland region, Vinnova, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, and Test Site Sweden.

LAST UPDATED: 16.09.2016