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ASTA innovation environment for future vehicles receives initial funding

Energy efficient transport, while maintaining road safety, makes new demands on future traffic systems. Test Site Sweden is therefore developing a test environment for active safety - ASTA (Active Safety Test Area) located in West Sweden. The investment will strengthen Sweden’s profile as an international centre for road safety and initially create 20 new jobs.

ASTA is a major joint project between industry, academia and society. It has been developed on the initiative of Test Site Sweden, a VINNOVA-funded programme with Lindholmen Science Park as principal. The total investment is estimated at SEK 300 million. Region Västra Götaland has today decided on a SEK 45 million investment in the project from the InMotion programme, which is the region’s concerted action programme for the environment, energy and sustainable transport solutions. The application was submitted by SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden (SP), a partner to Test Site Sweden.
- ASTA is a strategic investment to create new jobs and long-term conditions for automotive R&D in Västra Götaland. The facility will act as a hub where large and small firms can access a unique test site, says Kent Johansson, Chairman of the Regional Development Board, Region Västra Götaland.

ASTA is a new innovation environment and test infrastructure, where the Swedish and European automotive industry and researchers can develop and demonstrate advanced safety technology for vehicles and infrastructure. The venture will establish ASTA as a world-leading innovation and research environment for road safety, creating long-term conditions for automotive R&D in Sweden.
- New knowledge is needed in this area. ASTA is a vital link in creating the conditions for the effective development of active safety competence,” says Peter Öhman, project manager at Test Site Sweden.

The ASTA project plans to invest in fixed and permanent infrastructure, buildings and testing equipment. One option is adjacent to Hällered Test Track near Borås. The future facility will be used by the automotive industry, universities and public authorities. SP will be responsible for the operation of the facility.

ASTA creates the conditions for new future technologies.
- The emergence of new technologies makes it possible to develop smaller, lighter cars while maintaining safety. It also enables more efficient transport and logistics and considerably improved road safety, says Jan Jacobson at SP.

The development of new innovation-intensive technology will also lead to new knowledge companies and suppliers engaged in measurement technology, sensor technology and safety systems emerging in connection with ASTA.

Planning and design is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2010 and three of the four test tracks are expected to be completed two years later. The goal is to engage five visiting researchers on the project by the start. The venture will provide around 20 skilled jobs at ASTA’s facility and at least 100 new jobs by 2020. 

For more information, contact:
Peter Öhman, Project Test Site Sweden, tel 031-764 70 14
Helen L. Nilsson, Västra Götaland, tel 070-663 09 18
Jan Jacobson, SP Technical Research Institute, tel 010-516 56 97, 0705-56 56 97
Anita Bengtson, Communications, Lindholmen Science Park, tel 031-764 70 20, e-mail: anita.bengtson @

Lindholmen Science Park is a world-leading center for research and development projects in collaboration with stakeholders in industry, university and society.

Test Site Sweden is a program within Lindholmen Science Park dedicated to developing the test and demonstration environments in Sweden to support the development of sustainable transport systems. TSS consists of partners AB Volvo, Volvo Car Corporation, Chalmers, Saab Automobile, Scania, SRA, Energy Agency and the Västra Götaland.

SP Technical Research Institute is a leading resource for technical evaluation, measurement techniques, research and development. The research is conducted in close cooperation with universities and colleges.