DEKRA, connected cars become a reality at the PTA
German company DEKRA uses the Andalucia Technology Park’s test track to develop its self-driving cars.
DEKRA is one of several German companies located at the Andalucia Technology Park (PTA). The company is dedicated to one of the PTA’s strategically disruptive technologies. Its headquarters based in the park specialise in innovation and the development of connected cars and operate under the name DEKRA Testing and Certification.
Fernando E. Hardasmal, Executive Vice President. Service Division Product Testing at DEKRA SE shares his thoughts below.
DEKRA has several headquarters around the globe. What differentiates this office based in the PTA from the rest of them?
“In less than 4 years, DEKRA in Malaga has earned itself a great reputation within the DEKRA group and we’re known to be a very dynamic and international company highly focussed on technology and on R+D, with a young but fiercely prepared team. The team behind DEKRA Testing and Certification S.A.U. is known for its ability to develop new knowledge, tools, and services and for its capacity to implement them in Malaga as well as in many of DEKRA’s other locations internationally.”
As the “new kids on the block”, the fact that we have already managed to achieve great projects and earn investments in Malaga says a lot about us.
The PTA values itself as a “hub” that unites talent and infrastructure, a competitive university, an environment that is favourable for R+D… plus, to be honest, everyone tells us we’re very lucky to have our great climate, city, cost of living, gastronomy… and the list goes on.
In any case, we’re very conscious that we need to keep training enough professionals in Malaga in the next few years in the areas and technologies that play a key role today and that will keep playing a key role for the company in the future.”
What is DEKRA’s current situation?
“As far as DEKRA in Malaga is concerned, the company is going strong and is growing in terms of business volume, size of team, and projects. I’m proud to say that the company and its workers are highly regarded and respected both from our clients and from our competitors. Personally I’m immensely pleased to see how positively our team is viewed from our international counterparts.”
In 2017 the PTA opened up a large space dedicated to testing connected and self-driving vehicles. What projects are currently being developed using this space?
“This is a relatively new project that we’re also very pleased about. We have become international pioneers by bringing together our expertise on connectivity - which we have been building here in Malaga for almost 30 years - with the experience and capabilities of DEKRA in the automotive industry.
In Malaga we work in R+D for connected vehicles. Our scope ranges from the planning and development of tests and scenarios, automating them, and developing the tools necessary for such tests, all the way to actually implementing the trials in the 50,000m2 space that the PTA provides us. When we finish our trials we replicate them in our circuits in Klettwitz in Germany (located between Dresden and Berlin). This is where we conduct the larger portion of our tests as we have at our disposal the best of the German industry and approximately 8 million m2, numerous test circuits, and we even have a race track.”
Which projects are currently being developed in Malaga?
“Since our latest global organisational changes within the group, roughly half of personnel in the “ProductTesting” Division, which I manage, is based in Malaga. This means that we’re involved in many projects in multiple markets (automotive, health, industry, Information and communications technology, etc.) as well as other technologies that I previously mentioned.”
What would you say is the potential of Andalusia, and particularly of Malaga, for the industry in which DEKRA operates?
“For one, we’re aiming to develop projects from our Division in Malaga that have a global impact. On top of this, we know for a fact that other Divisions of DEKRA are considering setting up in Andalusia and particularly in Malaga.