The test phase in an Arctic winter lasts around six weeks - from the end of January to the middle of March. The preparations for it take up a further three weeks: Measurement instruments have to be built into the vehicles, test parts prepared, spare parts packed. Depending on the test objectives and schedule, the buses and coaches will be carrying ballast.
The journey to the Arctic Circle is part of the test: the journey from the test centre in Neu-Ulm to the destination in Arjeplog or Rovaniemi is in both cases some 3000 km long.
And - with the exception of a short ferry trip across the Baltic - it is all done by road. The trip lasts four days, in the course of which the heating and air conditioning are really put through their paces by the huge differences in temperature and humidity.
The route up to the Arctic Circle and back equates to an intensive test for touring coaches and rural-service buses in wintry conditions on motorways and highways. At the destination, there is a defined urban route around Rovaniemi for road-testing urban regular-service buses; and there are also defined long-distance routes for touring coaches and rural-service buses.