How to Build a Test Track

Aleksandra Mankiewicz from our partner, APTIV, has written this post describing how APTIV designed and built the SIMUSAFE test track for Cycle 2.

A former airport runway for small planes was chosen for the track area outside of Krakow. This choice was made due to its large, open space giving the possibility to adjust the area to simusafe’s needs by organising a simple urban infrastructure and perform experiments in controlled conditions. The priority was to create an isolated space which could be treated as a normal road and driven in one lap, including elements such as roundabout, an intersection with a left-turn and pedestrian zebra crossings. To create the track a company with professional road marking equipment was rented.

The paint used was temporary, durable enough to sustain rain but possible to be removed at any moment under high-pressured water. Lane markings painted in such a way were noticeable from greater distance, and closely resembled markings used on actual roads and in simulation. The infrastructure required also traffic signs, which were acquired and placed adequately to normal traffic conditions on such roads. Besides, 2 traffic lights were acquired and programmed to serve a zebra crossing and control traffic flow of a car and a pedestrian. The design was enriched by a dummy, hidden behind a tent standing on the side of a road and sliding across the path of the car in order to induce surprise.

The track territory had to be fenced and closed every day to the public for the duration of tests. Additionally, two containers were rented, one for staff and storage, and a sanitary one.

Fig 2 presents overall track design. The track and track surroundings were also closely recreated in the simulation.

Figure 2 Track design with layout for Car and Motorbike actor types

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