BMW to open automated driving proving ground in Czech Republic

The BMW Group is to develop a new proving ground in the Czech Republic, where it will test vehicle technologies such as electrification, digitalisation and automated driving.

The company has been exploring possible locations for a new proving ground as its existing testing facilities in Germany, France and Sweden no longer provide sufficient capacity.

It plans to begin operations at the 500-hectare site in Sokolov, in the country’s Karlovary Vary region, early in the next decade. The proving ground will be the company’s first development location in Eastern Europe.

Dr. Herbert Grebenc, BMW AG, Human Resources, Senior Vice President Real Estate Management, Corporate Security, said that BMW aims to offer customers “the best, most emotional mobility experience”.

“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,” continued Grebenc.

Jana Vildumetzová, President of the Karlovary Vary region, welcomed BMW’s announcement. “By creating several hundred jobs through construction of a proving ground for automated driving, we are opening a new chapter in the continued development of our region,” said Vildumetzová.

BMW Group announced last year that it planned to concentrate its development expertise in vehicle connectivity and automated driving at a new campus near Munich.