“Despite the pandemic situation, the construction of the Zalazone automotive industry test track in Zalaegerszeg is continuing unhindered and will soon be reaching its third and final phase”, Minister for Innovation and Technology László Palkovics declared on Friday during an international online press conference held at the track.

He added that the track’s day is held each year on 21 May, exactly one year following the announcement of the completion of the first phase. The realisation of the second phase is still ongoing, while the plans of the third phase are being finalised. Minor modifications have been realised in line with the requirements of clients and feedback from researchers, he indicated.

The Minister said mobility is facing challenges that require unique solutions within the industry, and unique vehicles require a unique testing environment. “The special test environment being constructed in Hungary is the most modern facility of its kind in the world for the testing of autonomous vehicles”, he stated.

The test track is being constructed on a 265-hectare plot near the Zala County capital, Zalaegerszeg. Its foundation stone was laid in May 2017 and the 45 billion-forint (EUR 128 million) investment project is expected to be completed in 2021.

With relation to government measures, Mr. Palkovics said the Economy Protection Action Plan launched in early April has reached its third phase. “The government will be mobilizing over 9 trillion forints (roughly 28 billion euros) in the interests of protecting the economy between 2020 and 2022, equating to 20 percent of Hungary’s GDP, which is a significant sum”, he explained.

From among European examples, he pointed out that Germany is spending 979 billion euros, some 28.5 percent of the German GDP for this purpose, while in Austria this sum is 38 billion euros, which is 9.4 percent of the country’s GDP. “The German economy protection package bears an important message for Hungary in view of the fact that the economies of the two countries are very closely linked”, the Minister explained.

“Hungary’s Economy Protection Action Plan concentrates on five main areas: preserving workplaces, creating new jobs, reinforcing highlighted sectors, supporting enterprises, and protecting families and pensioners”, he listed.

“This year, the government will be spending 400 billion forints (EUR 1.14 billion) on preserving jobs, while during the 2020-2022 period it plans to spend a total of 674 billion forints (EUR 1.92 billion) on education programs, 2564 billion forints (EUR 7.31 billion) on funding programs relating to the six highlighted sectors of industry, and 235 billion forints (EUR 670 million) on protecting families and pensioners”, Mr. Palkovics stated.

(Ministry for Innovation and Technology / MTI)