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Toyota to open huge R&D facility in Japan with 11 test tracks

by Ben Hsu

Toyota will be able to recreate any driving environment in the world.

Toyota is developing a massive testing facility near its global headquarters in Aichi Prefecture in central Japan.

As reported by Nikkei Asian Review, the facility will have 11 test tracks and cover more than 1,600 acres:

The test tracks will be designed to reproduce various driving conditions around the world. One will be in part modeled after the well-known Nurburgring race course in Germany, to test the stability of steering, braking and other functions in harsh driving conditions. The [3.3-mile] track will include mountainous roads with many curves, and an altitude gap of some [246 feet] between high and low points.

The facility will also take a role in R&D, the article notes, helping engineers fine-tune vehicles to meet regulations in various markets like Europe, North America, China and India. Testing sites in other countries have become "crowded," according to the article.

The test area will partially open in 2019, but won't see full operation until 2023. When fully staffed, Toyota expects 3,850 employees there full-time. It will be Toyota's first test tracks to open in Japan since its winter testing course in Hokkaido in 1984.