General Motors’ engineers and scientists will ring in the new year by beginning work with research partners at the new National Tire Research Center in Halifax County, Va. The carmakers hope to accelerate the development of tire technology and improve vehicle safety by replicating real-world emergency scenarios.
“The work we’ll undertake at the National Tire Research Center will have a big impact on how quickly next-generation tire technologies will be developed and the accuracy of their design and engineering,” said Ken Morris, GM’s executive director of Global Vehicle Performance and Safety.
Wondering why tire design is important? According to some estimates, tire design can improve fuel efficiency by as much as 7 percent. The center will be equipped with $11.2 million worth of tire performance test equipment.
“This facility’s test equipment is like going from a basic telescope to the Hubble – it opens up a whole new world of possibilities,” said Frank Della Pia, an executive director for the tire research center. “It can test tires in the full range of the performance spectrum. This facility has no peer in the world. It’s going to enable a transformational leap in tire technology.”