Subaru Builds New Tracks In Japan For Autonomous Testing

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Subaru has built a pair of new test tracks in Japan, both aimed at helping the automaker develop its driver-assist systems.

A new high-speed track encompasses 2.6 miles of roadway, with four lanes, gentle curves, entrances and exits, and concrete pavement to approximate the conditions of an American freeway.

It's joined by a new urban road course designed to simulate city driving, with one lane in each direction, intersections (with and without advanced turning lanes) crosswalks, and a European-style roundabout (traffic circle).

The new tracks form part of the company's Bifuka Proving Ground near Hokkaido. The 900-acre facility opened in 1995, initially for cold-weather testing, and added a high-speed track in 2003. The latest additions will begin service next month, along with upgrades to the existing circuits and a new office building.

The additions are intended to help Subaru further develop its EyeSight driver-assist system. The company is working on an intersection collision avoidance system, and intends to roll out an automated lane-changing function by 2020.

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