Bosch has other proving grounds in Boxberg and Schwieberdingen in southern Germany, Juvincourt (France), Campinas (Brazil), Suzhou and Yakeshi (China), Anglesea (Australia), and in Shiobara and Memanbetsu (Japan). In the U.S., Bosch has proving grounds in Flat Rock (Michigan), New Carlisle (Indiana), and Baudette (Minnesota).
When the Bosch associates leave the Vaitoudden test center in northern Sweden each evening to make their way back to their quarters, they find out exactly why their work is so essential. On the roads of northern Sweden, they can encounter icy surfaces, snowy bends – and elk ambling across the roads. In critical situations, the ABS antilock braking system and the ESP electronic stability program are a major plus. Bosch invested a great deal of effort in putting both systems through their paces and developing them further at this site near the Arctic Circle.
Bosch has been testing advanced braking control systems here since the 1970s. Today, around 600 Bosch associates spend a number of busy weeks every winter here in the far north. The test center opened by Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf in 2003 provides them with exactly the right conditions for their work.
The consistently freezing temperatures ensure the tracks on the frozen lake at the site belonging to Bosch are as smooth as glass. Each morning, specialists make sure conditions on the ice are ideal. In addition, the 420-hectare test center boasts eleven kilometers of road, including asphalt surfaces with one side covered in ice, steep sections with varying gradients, and a number of different test circuits.
During their time here, the associates don't have a lot of distractions. The 3,100 residents of Arjeplog are spread over an area of around 12,800 square kilometers – around ten times the size of New York City. That means there's plenty of time to focus on their work – and on making driving safer.