Ford Tortures Cars With Extreme Road Testing

Posted: Mar 30 2011, 10:40am CDT | by , Updated: Mar 30 2011, 10:47pm CDT, in News | Cars & Vehicles


Ford Tortures Cars with Extreme Road Testing

Ford talks testing

When it comes to testing its cars, Ford pulls out all the stops to ensure they are safe and will survive the long haul no matter where in the world they end up. Ford is offering up a bit of insight into how it tests its cars on the road to be sure that they handle well and will still ride well on even the roughest roads in Europe and the US.

Ford has two proving grounds for its new car models and other testing around the world. The proving grounds include the Lommel Proving Ground in Belgium and on the Michigan Proving Ground in the US. Ford uses these proving grounds to ensure that if the driver of a Ford drives too fast over potholes or other poor road sections that the car will survive and will allow the drive to get to their destination safely.

The proving grounds simulate multiple types of road surfaces including rough roads that are commonly found around the world. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the vehicles Ford makes can survive in the real world. What works well on a smooth prepared test track might not work well on a pothole riddled real world side street.

"We have created some of the worst potholes in Europe on our own test track. If our cars can pass these tests, then they can cope with almost anything they encounter on public roads," said Eric-Jan Scharlee, technical specialist for Durability Testing at Lommel Proving Ground. "You name the road surface, we have it at our proving ground."

The test roads at the proving grounds also have simulated potholes to put precise loads on a car for testing. The road conditions are recreated using user input from drivers all around the world. Check out the video below to see some of the testing in action.

"We use two types of test tracks at Ford to re-create the loads customers are seeing on public roads," said Scharlee. "One type simulates actual public roads, such as Lower Dunton Road in Essex, U.K., while the other comprises a variety of potholes that have been artificially constructed to mimic different driving conditions."


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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Leading our review center, Shane McGlaun (Google) knows technology inside out. His extensive experience in testing computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
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