In Klettwitz, the focus of the network is on constructing testing facilities for all aspects of automated driving. This will be complemented in the medium term by the topic of connectivity, which is, within the DEKRA Group, the main focus of the experts in Málaga, Spain. From their expertise, testing capacity will also be developed in Klettwitz. “The combination of connection and automation is a vital requirement for autonomous driving in the future. That is why our customers, especially in the automotive industry, need the necessary testing services from one provider. We will be able to provide this through the intensive cooperation of all the DEKRA locations and business units involved,” says Stefan Kölbl.
In Klettwitz, DEKRA is investing tens of millions in the largest manufacturer-independent center for connected and automated driving in Europe. “We are investing in roads and facilities for the comprehensive testing of automated driving functions. This will enable us, as a development and testing partner for the automotive industry, to set up very complex scenarios, for urban, non-urban or highway journeys, in a highly flexible way,” says Clemens Klinke, Member of the Board of DEKRA SE and head of the Automotive business unit. More specifically, there will be two city routes, an overland route and a highway route on the existing test oval, along with several large asphalt areas, which are ideal for such tests.
The infrastructure will also include all the necessary components for the integration of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication (V2V and V2X). “Measuring equipment will include ultra-modern systems such as driving robots, self-propelled platforms, various soft targets and mobile traffic infrastructure installations, which we can use to test camera-, laser- and radar-based environment recognition systems,” says Klinke.
“We are delighted that the next chapter of the Lausitzring will open on such a positive note”, explains Josef Meier, Managing Director of EuroSpeedway Verwaltungs GmbH, from whom DEKRA is taking over the racetrack. “After eight years, in which we have successfully operated and developed the Lausitzring, we were faced with the question of how to transform it into a long-term, sustainable concept, given the current investment needs. Together with DEKRA as a long-standing, reliable partner we have found what is, from our perspective, a good solution.”
In the expanded DEKRA Technology Center, it will also be possible to offer high-quality education and training courses in automated driving functions. Appropriate training will be given to up to 500 participants a day.
Following the takeover, the site will be made available to DEKRA customers from early 2018. The planned expansion of tracks and infrastructure will be largely completed in 2018.
In the coming years, many high-quality jobs will be created in the DEKRA Technology Center. “The workforce will be expanded gradually to meet the needs of the testing of automated driving functions”, says Volker Noeske, Head of the DTC. There are currently 48 people employed at the Lausitzring, including seasonal workers. The plan is for this number to increase in the medium term to around 100 – in addition to the almost 100 employees at the DTC today.
“In Klettwitz, we are investing in the future of mobility and in the future of DEKRA,” says CEO Stefan Kölbl in summary. “Our involvement in the Lausitzring is a clear commitment to the location and plays an important role in the implementation of our vision of becoming the global partner for a safe world by 2025.”
DEKRA has been active in the field of safety for more than 90 years. Founded in 1925 in Berlin as Deutscher Kraftfahrzeug-Überwachungs-Verein e.V., it is today one of the world’s leading expert organizations. DEKRA SE is a subsidiary of DEKRA e.V. and manages the Group’s operating business. In 2016, DEKRA generated sales totalling approximately 2.9 billion Euros. The company currently employs more than 39,000 people in more than 50 countries on all five continents. With qualified and independent expert services, they work for safety on the road, at work and at home. These services range from vehicle inspection and expert appraisals to claims services, industrial and building inspections, safety consultancy, testing and certification of products and systems, as well as training courses and temporary work. The vision for the company’s 100th birthday in 2025 is that DEKRA will be the global partner for a safe world.