AstaZero: Driving the Future of Automated Transportation

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AstaZero, an open and neutral proving ground owned by Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), has emerged as a prominent institute for the advancement of automated transportation systems. With a clear vision to become the world's premier testing facility, AstaZero provides ideal conditions for the industrial cluster and research community to accelerate the transition towards a safe and sustainable transportation system of tomorrow.

One of AstaZero's primary contributions lies in cultivating expertise in test control, safe practices, and related areas. By further developing these competencies, AstaZero ensures that demonstrations and tests can be conducted in a secure and efficient manner. This commitment to safety is vital for unlocking the full potential of automated transportation.

In the ePIcenter project AstaZero actively collaborates with its partner Einride, a leading player in autonomous truck technology, in their pursuit of groundbreaking developments. AstaZero provided invaluable assistance in facilitating Einride's demonstrations of their automated trucks. Initially planned to take place at the AstaZero test facility and subsequently at the end customer's logistic site, circumstances necessitated a change of plans. Due to unforeseen factors, the second part of Einride's planned demonstrations could not be executed as intended. However, in a testament to AstaZero's innovative approach, the demonstration transformed into a virtual showcase within a digital twin of the initial test. This unique demonstration highlighted the seamless connection between virtual testing and physical implementation, showcasing how digital innovations merge with real-world scenarios.

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A new test environment at AstaZero, FLX Zone, had been built in another project parallel to ePIcenter with the purpose to establish a flexible test area for logistic and city areas that could be tailored to the customer testing needs. Together with this physical area, a digital twin was also created with predefined building blocks such as containers, traffic signs, traffic lights, lane markings etc., used to build the desired test environment. For AstaZero, the change of scope in ePIcenter made it possible to verify how the process could work between a digital twin and the physical world in a real test case. Figure 1 above shows the test area set up for the first demonstration that occurred in December 2022. Figure 2 shows the corresponding digital twin with the route that was driven by the Einride Pod in the demonstration. In the future the process would normally start with building the digital twin environment with the available building blocks, and then exporting the result to an Open Scenario format to either perform the intended simulation in that test environment or export the file to the customer simulation environment such as IPG CarMaker or Applied Intuition. Einride has performed such a simulation in its simulation environment, based on the digital twin created by AstaZero. When the simulation is performed on a set of various situations it is possible to validate the simulation model by building the physical corresponding test environment at FLX Zone and perform physical test drives.

The overall results from the ePIcenter work have been very beneficial for showing how it is possible in the future to create various driving environments for automated vehicles in a virtual world by a digital twin. This digital twin can be populated with relevant fixed objects as well as dynamic objects such as other vehicles and VRU’s (Vulnerable Road Users, e.g., pedestrians, cyclists), and simulate different challenges for the automated vehicle including, e.g., corner cases (rare situations) to verify the functionality of the vehicle. These results can then be validated through the buildup of a realistic physical environment, corresponding to the virtual version with a predefined tolerance of the object positioning and a repeatable behavior of all dynamic objects by the AstaZero test control system.

Further development work that is identified to improve the process even more is to enhance the functionality of the different software tools even more to make it more user friendly and easy to use as well as improve the interfaces between the software modules and the export to the customer simulation environment. The positioning system of the physical objects could also be more efficient to speed up of the build of the physical test environment.


AstaZero's significant role in pushing the boundaries of automated transportation cannot be overstated. By fostering a safe and supportive environment, AstaZero enables partners like Einride to push the limits of what is achievable. As the world moves towards a future of autonomous and sustainable transportation, AstaZero will continue to play an instrumental role in bringing forth innovative solutions and shaping the industry's trajectory

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