BMW is taking a giant leap forward in the world of autonomous driving with the launch of its state-of-the-art test site, the Future Mobility Development Centre (FMDC), in Sokolov, Czechia. Representing an investment of 300 million euros, the FMDC is the first of its kind in central Europe and is set to play a pivotal role in BMW’s future mobility development.
Encompassing a vast expanse of 600 hectares, the site is dedicated to the ongoing research and testing of automated driving and parking technologies. Notably, this impressive investment will create over 100 new jobs and, in line with BMW’s commitment to sustainability, will operate entirely on 100 percent green electricity.
Transformed from a former mining region into an innovation hub, the FMDC’s strategic location offers an array of real-world conditions for testing highly and fully automated driving and parking, complementing virtual simulations of driving scenarios. By combining both virtual and real-world testing, BMW aims to meet the stringent safety requirements of its customers effectively. The FMDC joins the ranks of BMW’s existing group of test sites in Aschheim near Munich, Miramas in France, and Arjeplog in Sweden. This facility will be used to help develop future generations of electric car from BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce.
So what is autonomous driving and what do the various levels (from 1 to 5) actually mean in the real world?