Subaru has installed new tracks and made a number of changes to existing facilities at its Bifuka proving ground, in order to help it develop advanced driver assistance technologies.
In addition to a new administration building and general upgrades to all of the facility’s test roads, Subaru has created a new urban test track and given a major upgrade to Bifuka’s high-speed circuit, bringing it closer to the real-world conditions found on many restricted access motorways.
Now totalling 4.2 kilometres in length, Bifuka’s high-speed course includes gentle curves typical of intercity motorways, and merging and diverging lanes simulating roadway interchanges, or the entry/exit ramps to fuel and food stops.
There’s also a multi-lane section resembling a four-lane road, and a paved concrete section similar to the surface type seen on American and Australian freeways.
Subaru’s new urban road course has a variety of two-lane roads with on-coming traffic. It also features roundabouts, and intersections with and without turning lanes and zebra crossings.
The company says the new tracks will become operational some time during November 2017, and will help Subaru hit its target of becoming the “number one brand for overall safety”.
The upgraded Bifuka track will be used to develop a new version of the EyeSight-based safety system that can eliminate collisions with cyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles at intersections.
Also slated for development at the proving ground is the company’s already announced automated lane changing feature, which uses mapping data, radar guidance, GPS location information and the car’s stereoscopic cameras. This system is due to debut in 2020.