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GM Opens Massive Test Facility for Safety Tech, Automated Cars

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 7/26/2015 Kelly Pleskot

General Motors today opened a 52-acre facility dedicated to testing safety systems and automated technologies for use on new vehicles.

The Active Safety Test Area, located at GM's Milford Proving Ground near Detroit, simulates a number of real-world road conditions. The site is complete with a parking lot area, tunnels, and a pedestrian test area with dummies. A highway simulation zone includes six lanes, on-ramps and off-ramps, variable road lighting, and road signs that represent different places around the world.

In addition to these areas, GM has allocated 16 acres to testing robot-controlled and automated vehicles. The automaker says the new facility will also be key to testing out vehicle-to-vehicle technologies, which allow cars to communicate with each other on the road by exchanging speed, location, and braking data. This technology will eventually make its way to the Cadillac CTS for the 2017 model year, after GM debuts its Super Cruise semi-automated driving feature.

GM Active Safety Test Area© Provided by MotorTrend GM Active Safety Test Area

These technologies may be a little further out, but GM is offering 22 different active safety technologies for 2016. The features span across all four brands, as even the 2016 Chevrolet Spark will receive available lane departure warning and forward collision alert.

On its new lineup, GM is bringing out Curb View Camera, a feature that helps drivers avoid hitting curbs and other vehicles inside a parking lot by displaying the scene on the center stack screen. Front Pedestrian Braking automatically applies the brakes if it determines that a collision with a pedestrian is imminent. Other technologies offered by GM include rear camera mirror, night vision, and low-speed automatic braking.

Source: GM

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