As we know, BMW is associated with luxury, but now it looks forward to expanding and take a step towards the evolution of autos.
The German automaker has put aside 100 million euros (or $118 million) of cash to invest into the new test track, and it is said to be creating hundreds of jobs in the procedure. The 1,200-acre property will be located near the German border of the Eastern European nation and is about two and a half hours away from BMW’s primary development site in Munich.
Considering the fact that the current testing facilities in Aschheim, Germany do not have enough space to meet testing requirements, the automaker stated that the decision to move to the Czech Republic was a strategic one. “We found the ideal conditions and grounds we need for vehicle testing in Sokolov,” said Dr Herbert Grebenc, BMW’s Senior Vice President of Real Estate Management in a statement. “Opening our first development location in Eastern Europe will create new opportunities and marks a milestone in the history of our company.”
The German automaker previously announced its plan to introduce its automated iNext in 2021, which is said to have level-five autonomy. That means the driver would have the opportunity to sleep in the car while it’s in motion. The company will be working with Mobileye to develop the car, and will certainly take advantage of its new test track. “At the planned proving facility in Sokolov, we will continue to advance ground-breaking topics, such as electrification, digitalisation and automated driving – for example, through safety-testing for assistance systems,” Grebenc noted.
The track is said to open at the beginning of the next decade.
“Today, we are on the threshold of automated driving,” Grebenc said at a news conference in Prague. “This means making massive investments in our future.”