Today Fiat Chrysler announced that it invested over $30 million into its Chelsea Proving Grounds facility. This is where FCA develops and tests its autonomous vehicle technology.
The Chelsea Proving Grounds facility has a highway-speed autonomous track and 35 acres of safety testing space. It also has a high-tech command center.
“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 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Chief Executive Officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. and Chief Operating Officer of the NAFTA region Mike Manley. “Our ability to test for autonomous and advanced safety technologies enables FCA to offer our customers the features they want across our brand portfolio.”
This facility will also enable FCA to evaluate test protocols from third parties like Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), and European New Car Assessment Program (EuroNCAP).
And the highway-speed track also provides FCA with the ability to develop autonomous vehicle systems under a wide range of environments such as various road lighting conditions and interstate-style exit and entrance ramps. Plus the command center covers over 6,500 square feet and it houses computer equipment necessary for GPS capability and test vehicle communication.
The Chelsea Proving Grounds (CPG) originally opened in 1954 and went through a number of expansions since then. It currently covers about 4,000 acres and has a road-surface total of 100 miles. The CPG also has off-road replicas of the Rubicon Trail along with other challenging trails for testing the autonomous vehicles.