Moscow receives first testing area for driverless cars

Moscow receives first testing area for driverless cars
Photo: Photo by the Mayor and Moscow Government Press Service. Yevgeny Samarin
Driverless cars and buses will be tested on a 400-metre course at Kalibr Technology Park.

The first open testing ground for autonomous, driverless cars has been built at Kalibr Technology Park on Godovikova Street in Moscow’s Ostankino District. The 400-metre course recreates an urban environment: it has bus stops, a pedestrian crossing, road signs and markings and a roundabout.

“Companies that are engaged in developing self-driving transport need infrastructure to test and “teach” the new cars. A special testing ground was established to that end for resident companies at the park,” the press service of Moscow’s Department of Science, Industrial Policy and Entrepreneurship said.

Testing has already begun at the grounds. Resident companies took part in developing the engines and electronic systems for four driverless buses for a large Russian machine-building company. Buses are being taught to interact with the road infrastructure and pedestrians on pedestrian crossings (their roles are played by the technology park employees).

 

The press service also said that the research grounds will be used both for resident companies and students and postgraduates from Moscow engineering universities, such as the Moscow Polytechnical University. They will be able to test their own prototypes. The technology park will also allow other companies to test their equipment.

Kalibr Technology Park was set up in 2015 at the site of the legendary plant of the same name that manufactured measurement and control devices. It occupies an area of 10.26 hectares and offers rental discounts for companies that are engaged in developing innovative equipment. The park’s venues can be used as laboratories, production facilities and design bureaus. Kalibr currently has 200 companies. They are offered tax incentives, sometimes up to 25 percent. Resident companies do not have to pay property tax and have breaks of up to 12.5 percent on profit tax. These benefits are effective for 10 years from the date of receiving resident status.

Moscow has over 30 technology parks. Each of them specialises in a certain area, from IT to nanotechnology. The 31st technology park,Vodny Stadion, recently opened in northern Moscow.

This year, Russian manufacturers of city electric and driverless vehicles will receive subsidies of up to 900 million roubles. The production of high-tech transport opens new possibilities for urban planning and environmental improvement.