DEKRA acquires Lausitzring
For DEKRA the plan is to develop an innovation and validation center for future mobility technology. It will be established in combination with DEKRA's Technology Center (DTC) that has already existed in close proximity of the race track near Klettwitz (Brandenburg), Germany since 2003. The site will play a key role in an international testing network for automated and connected driving which DEKRA is developing in Europe and Asia and furthermore the Klettwitz region gains new top-quality employment opportunities, too.
"As a first step, we are going to invest more than 30 million Euro in the development of our testing network", says DEKRA e.V. and DEKRA SE Chairman Stefan Kölbl. "Automation and connectivity will gain more and more importance for the mobility of the future. More than 90 years ago the DEKRA founders established our 'Safety Mission' which we take very seriously. Because of that we offer our validation and development expertise in autonomous and connected mobility to our automobile industry customers. DEKRA acquiring the Lausitzring and combining it with the DEKRA Technology Center plays a crucial role in this operation."
Building up validation systems for all automated driving issues lies at the heart of the network project at Klettwitz. In the midterm, a connectivity department will be added which, at the moment, has its center at Málaga within the DEKRA group. From there adequate validation capacities will be established at Klettwitz, too. "The combination of automation and connectivity is key for autonomous driving in the future. This is why our customers and especially the automobile industry depends on validation services from a single source. And this is what we plan to offer them through close cooperation among our participating DEKRA locations and business units in the future", says Stefan Kölbl.
Biggest independent center for automated and connected driving in Europe
DEKRA is going to invest tens of million Euro in the biggest independent center for automated and connected driving in Europe at the Klettwitz location. "It is all about tracks and facilities that enable us to comprehensively evaluate automated driving features. As a development and testing partner for the automobile industry this gives us the possibility to conduct case studies extensively and flexibly – be it urban, countryside or motorway scenarios", says DEKRA SE Member of the Board and Head of Business Unit Automotive Clemens Klinke. "Specifically, two city courses, a cross-country track and a motorway road will be available on site at our testing oval. Add to that several large asphalt areas which are predestined for tests like these."
On top of that the site's infrastructure will include all components that are necessary for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication (V2X) respectively. "Our measurement technology set-up will also boast state-of-the-art driving robots, self-driving systems, several soft targets and elements of mobile transportation infrastructure. We can use all these features to test camera-, laser- and radar-based environment recognition systems", says Clemens Klinke.
"We are happy that the next chapter in the history of the Lausitzring will be written among these positive signs", says Josef Meier as Managing Partner of the EuroSpeedway Administration Ltd. from which DEKRA takes over the track. "After eight years of successfully managing and developing the Lausitzring we faced the challenging task of finding a long-term concept for the future, bearing in mind the prevailing need for investments. From our point of view, together with DEKRA as our longstanding and reliable partner we found a good solution."
In the future, the extended DEKRA Technology Center will also offer high-quality training and schooling events around automated driving with a proposed daily capacity of 500 participants. The site will be available to DEKRA customers once the take-over process has been finalized at the beginning of 2018. During the same year, the planned expansion of tracks and infrastructure will be carried out substantially.
The DEKRA Technology Center will create several top-quality employment opportunities in the near future. "Personnel-wise, we will expand one step at a time. It will be adapted to the necessities of our validation processes for automated driving features", says Head of DTC Volker Noeske. At the moment there is a staff of 48 at the Lausitzring including seasonal workers. For the medium term, the plan is to add 70 highly specialized employees to the already almost one hundred strong DTC staff.
"At Klettwitz we are investing in the future of mobility and in the future of DEKRA, too", says DEKRA Chairman Stefan Kölbl. "Our commitment at the Lausitzring is a strong affirmation to the location. It also plays a big role for the realization of our vision to become the global safety partner by 2025."