Smart highway for testing self-driving cars to be built in Hungary
A smart controlled-access highway will connect the M7 motorway and the city of Zalaegerszeg, inforadio.hu reports. The highway complements the test track for self-driving cars which is to be built in Zalaegerszeg.
The highway reduces travel time between Budapest and Zalaegerszeg by almost an hour, says István Lepsényi, state secretary for the Ministry of National Economy. There are also plans to build a testing track in Zalaegerszeg, which can accommodate traditional as well as electric and self-driving vehicles.
“Our test track is unprecedented in Europe, similar testing centre has not been built yet. This increases its importance, since every developer who wants to test their self-driving cars will come to work in Hungary,” says the state secretary.
Thus the new highway, besides connecting Budapest and Zalaegerszeg, will provide a real-life setting for testing self-driving cars that have gone through testing in a controlled environment.
The smart highway can become more than a passive surface for vehicles. In the future, the highway will be able to provide information for the driver about the conditions of the road and possible accidents. Moreover, it will also be possible for the vehicles to communicate with each other.
It is not yet known how the development will affect the building costs of the highway, but the state secretary judges the extra costs to be a negligible few percent in comparison to the costs of the highway itself.
The building of the smart highway coincides with similar plans in other European countries, for instance Germany. In the long run, the German smart highway could be connected to the Hungarian one.
The highway is planned to be completed by the end of next year, depending on the speed of the procurement procedure.