Catalonia Living Lab and Aurora Snowbox join forces on development and testing of automated vehicles on public roads

Barcelona, Catalonia, November 4th 2020: Catalonia Living Lab and Aurora Snowbox announced today that they reached an agreement for collaboration on test drives of connected and automated vehicles on public roads.

To cover the imminent need for public road test drives in all weather conditions (including summer and winter), Catalonia Living Lab and Aurora Snowbox agreed to team up for the next 2 years. This alliance is expected to be of mutual benefit in strengthening the services provided by both entities and expanding their activities in the field of connected and automated vehicles. As a first step in their collaboration, both companies aligned their service portfolios and marketing strategies to ensure an identical user experience on both test beds.

A strategic analysis performed within the framework of Catalonia Living Lab, resulted in a series of objectives for testing of highly connected and automated vehicles on public roads. These objectives respond to the expectations of key stakeholders in the international automotive sector. As can be observed in image 1, these objectives include fitting test vehicles and public roads with dedicated test equipment [2, 3], a centralized control room [1], professional test drivers [4] and supplying HD maps and digital road representations for virtual simulation [5].

Image 1. Catalonia Living Lab’s vision on connected and automated vehicle testing on public roads.

International automotive stakeholders require public road tests in all types of climate. To cover for this demand, the test setup shown above, should be deployed in various regions that together offer the wide variety of required weather conditions. The partnership between Catalonia Living Lab and Aurora Snowbox satisfies that demand.

Stefan de Vries, General Manager of Catalonia Living Lab, commented that: “Thanks to Aurora Snowbox we can cover our clients’ needs for winter testing conditions, for which the options are obviously limited in Catalonia. Aurora Snowbox therefore contributes an essential element to Catalonia Living Lab’s service portfolio on testing of connected and automated vehicles on public roads.”

Reija Viinanen, CEO of Aurora Snowbox, commented that: “We at Aurora Snowbox are happy to start a new collaboration with Catalonia Living Lab, thus expanding our professional network. Hand shaking and strategic teamwork between South and North benefit the self-driving vehicle industry by offering necessary testing environment and facilities above the Arctic Circle and in Spain.”

Image 2. Summer conditions in Catalonia Spain (left) and winter conditions in Lapland Finland (right).

About Catalonia Living Lab

Since 2016, Catalonia Living Lab is a public-private partnership providing a comprehensive framework for the design and validation of connected and automated vehicle technologies. This framework is the coordinated approach of all regional resources to support international automotive industry and academia in their development efforts. It includes existing physical infrastructures such as the complete Catalan public road network, state-of-the-art proving grounds, laboratories, engineering services, digital infrastructures and a network of smart cities including Barcelona.

About Aurora Snowbox

Aurora Snowbox, based in Finland, is a private company providing winter and cold testing facilities for connected and automated vehicle technologies. Aurora Snowbox combines public roads, cross-border corridors as well as independent proving grounds with its partners. These facilities are completed with professional snow-how knowledge, engineering and information services, and digital infrastructure to enable self-driving vehicle industry to obtain weather-proof technological and worldwide scalable solutions.