The City of Stříbro supports the plan to build a self-driving car testing facility
The Stříbro City Council endorsed Accolade Group’s plan to build a testing and certification facility, called Polygon, for cars with autonomous driving capabilities near Těchlovice at the northern end of the city. The Council members agreed to modify the land use plan to enable the construction of the facility: thirteen of the fourteen Council members present voted in favour and one member abstained.
“I am grateful to the City of Stříbro for such strong support. Once the Polygon is in operation it will attract top car designers from all over Europe to Stříbro, and a number of other university graduates will find jobs there. I do believe this is an extraordinary opportunity for Stříbro and, indeed, for the country as a whole. The development of cars that can drive themselves is perhaps the greatest IT and engineering challenge that is currently being tackled by engineers and designers all over the world. We need to be involved in the search for solutions, to ensure that leading-edge automotive research and development can continue here,” says Milan Kratina, Accolade Group’s CEO.
“We are planning a northern bypass of the city and we would like the Regional Authority to help us build the bypass while the Polygon is being built,” says Stříbro Mayor Karel Lukeš. “Transport in the city is often hard to manage, and the Regional Authority has had the Stříbro bypass project in its backlog for quite a few years”, explains Lukeš.
The City Council authorised Martin Záhoř, Deputy Mayor of Stříbro, to conduct negotiations on the Polygon with the investor. “Considering the property tax alone, the Polygon would add more than five million crowns to the city’s budget every year. It is of course essential to ensure that the project is advantageous for the people living in the city. This is what we are discussing with the investor,” says Deputy Mayor Martin Záhoř.
The Accolade Group is already working on the Polygon Project with the Czech Technical University in Prague (ČVUT), or more specifically the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics, as well as with the Brno University of Technology (VUT Brno). VUT Brno is working on the optimisation of pavement surfaces for the Polygon, while ČVUT focuses on cybernetics. Some students may choose the Polygon as the topic of their dissertations. In addition, for example, the Applied Research Institute - the University of Nevada, Reno, and certain component manufacturers, have already shown interest in contributing to the project.
Two public hearings on the Polygon project took place before the meeting of the Council. The first was held on site, at Těchlovice, and the other in the movie theatre of the Stříbro Community Centre. Aware of citizens’ opinions, the Council members could then make a well-informed vote.
Traffic on the Polygon site will be like on a very low-frequented country road hidden behind a green wall. It will be practically free of noise and emissions, causing no inconvenience to the people living in the area. In addition, most of the cars on the Polygon roads will have a motor other than an internal combustion engine.
Situated in western Bohemia, Stříbro is a good place for the facility thanks to its proximity to the D5 motorway and, in particular, thanks to its location as a “hub” among the manufacturing sites of major European car makers.