FCA US announced it has invested more than $30 million at its Chelsea Proving Grounds in southeast Michigan for further development and testing of autonomous vehicles and advanced safety technologies. The new facility, which begins testing programs in September, features a dedicated autonomous highway-speed track, 35-acre safety-feature evaluation area, and a high-tech command center.

"The all-new facility at Chelsea Proving Grounds will help support and enable the successful rollout of the company's five-year plan laid out earlier this year," said Mike Manley, CEO, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and COO, NAFTA region. "Our ability to test for autonomous and advanced safety technologies enables FCA to offer our customers the features they want across our brand portfolio."

The facility will allow for testing of various levels of autonomy and enables the company to evaluate FCA vehicles using test protocols from third parties.

The autonomous highway-speed track offers the capability to develop autonomous vehicle systems under a wide range of challenging environments, including obstacles, tunnels, varying road lighting conditions, and interstate-style exit and entrance ramps.

The command center covers more than 6500 sq ft and houses computer equipment vital to GPS capability and test vehicle communication.

The advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) facility accommodates testing of advanced iterations of automatic emergency braking and automated parking technologies on a new 35-acre paved test facility.