Fleet News

Where freeze is not a waste

EVERY winter, 400 Bosch engineers migrate from Germany to Arjeplog, a dot on the map in Lapland, the remote area of northern Sweden made up of 400 islands and an amazing 8,700 lakes.

With temperatures ranging from -10C to -40C, this is inhospitable territory where waterways freeze rock-solid to provide thousands of acres of ice up to 120cm thick – the perfect surface for proving the latest safety systems.

A €20 million investment has provided Bosch with all the facilities it needs to develop next-generation equipment on prototype vehicles in maximum security, and Fleet NewsNet was allowed through the high-security gates of the Vaitoudden test centre to put some of the company’s future systems to the test.

Based 60 miles south of the Polar circle, the centre’s 550-acre site includes 120 acres of frozen lake and 11 kms of test tracks.

Hermann Kaess, managing director of the UK arm of the company’s original equipment division, said: ‘We spent €2.7 billion on research last year. We are confident that the products being created here will help the company maintain its policy of steady growth.

‘Low temperatures produce the best conditions for the progressive improvement of safety system software and only constant testing allows us to realise the full potential of equipment.’

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