German technology behemoth Siemens is investing $5 million worth of technology and support into the American Center for Mobility, becoming the latest company to sponsor the Willow Run autonomous vehicle testing track.
Siemens PLM Software, a business unit of the Munich-based conglomerate, has signed on to be the center’s “preferred simulation provider,” which comes with a seat on the ACM’s Industry Advisory Board, according to a Thursday news release.
The investment will be over three years and include software, hardware and support. There is no cash component to the investment.
As part of the deal, Siemens is bringing to the track its virtual simulation technology, developed by recently acquired TASS International. The technology produces “highly realistic, physics-based simulation of raw sensor data for potential driving scenarios and traffic situations,” according to the release.
Opened last year, phase one of the 500-acre proving grounds includes a 2.5-mile highway loop with on and off ramps, a 700-degree curved tunnel, customer garage and operations center. Phase two is set to feature a new headquarters, urban driving environment and technology park.
Total cost of the project is estimated to be $135 million, of which more than $110 million has been secured. The center is a public-private partnership aimed at advancing mobility.
To date, sponsors of the track include Subaru, Adient Ltd., Visteon Corp., Ford Motor Co., Hyundai America Technical Center Inc., Toyota Motor Corp. and Microsoft.