New OCTAVIA: I’ve Been Driving It for a Year and a Half

New OCTAVIA: I’ve Been Driving It for a Year and a Half

Models OCTAVIA

Luboš Školník belongs to the group of test technicians at ŠKODA who are tasked with extensive testing of every new model before its market launch. He told ŠKODA Storyboard what his job actually entails and how he feels about the new OCTAVIA.

11. 11. 2019

“I’ve already had the opportunity to try out everything on the new car, from changing the glovebox light bulb to the most sophisticated driving assists”, smiles Luboš Školník, who already has plenty of experience with the new car. As a member of the department tasked with testing the complete car, he’s responsible for testing all the electric and electronic systems of the car – from the aforementioned lightbulbs to the interior controls, to driving assists and of course the whole infotainment setup.

He’s been working at ŠKODA for 11 years. He gradually worked his way up from preparing the cars for testing to becoming a test technician himself. He already has experience with testing the previous generation OCTAVIA so he’s able to compare the two generations really well. “I’ve been driving the new generation for about a year and a half, and I’ve driven thousands of kilometres with it,” he says, describing his extensive knowledge of the new car.

test-rider-circleLuboš Školník
test technician at ŠKODA

However, when asked what the biggest step forward for the new generation is, Luboš struggles to find an easy answer: “There’s absolutely loads of stuff. The development of the electronics is incredibly fast. The infotainment’s made a great leap ahead, there’s a strong focus on communication and also the driving assists are much more advanced.”

Nová ŠKODA OCTAVIA COMBI

“Of course, the design has also moved in a more modern direction,” he adds. Unlike most people, he’s already well acquainted with the new car’s looks. Immediately, he adds some driving impressions to his opinion of the car’s looks. “Compared to its predecessor, the car feels more sporty, yet safer as a whole.”

It turns out in the end that as a driver, the thing he enjoys the most is the modern driving assists offered by the fourth generation OCTAVIA. “For example, these include the Travel Assist system.”

skolnik-lubos-technician-skoda

Even though driving is his job, he still enjoys it, and especially so with the new OCTAVIA. Still, Luboš admits that the job of test technician is hard. “We have to meet the strictest safety criteria,” he explains. Safety plays a key role from the initial phases of testing, when the cars are driven on the closed tracks and proving grounds – the tests include high-speed driving and testing driving assists.

Nová ŠKODA OCTAVIA COMBI

These tests have to be done on a closed track, as all the driving assists must be reliable before the cars are driven on public roads. “We have to be focused and alert all the time,” Luboš says. While testing on public roads, he has to obey the traffic rules, watch out for other cars and still be able to monitor how the car and its systems behave in various situations.

Test technicians also have to make sure that the still-top-secret car is not revealed by mistake. “ŠKODA’s security department approves the test routes,” Luboš explains, and goes on to say that the main security tactic is to keep the car moving at all times. This makes it hard for any spy photographers to take pictures of details hidden under the camouflage.

lubos-skolnik-technician-skoda

The test cars will continue to drive on public roads for some time after the new car is unveiled. “We are testing everything right up to the start of production. In the last phase before production begins, we focus on details and fine-tuning the comfort,” Luboš concludes, suggesting that his work on the new generation of OCTAVIA is coming to an end.

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