General Motors has awarded $5 million to Virginia Tech to create the National Tire Research Center at the university’s Transportation Institute (VTTI). The new facility will provide automobile and tire manufacturers a place to develop new tire technologies, reproduce emergency events, and improve vehicle highway safety.
“This facility will be the only one of its kind in the world and will generate world-class tire research data while generating significant revenue and high tech jobs in Southside Virginia,” said Tom Dingus, VTTI director and principal investigator for the tire center proposal.
General Motors hopes that the investment will lead to new tire technologies that result in increased fuel economy and lower emissions. The research center, which is an outcome of a long-standing partnership between VTTI and GM, will cost a total of $14 million, with the remaining $9 million coming from Virginia Tech and the national tobacco settlement.
“As a founding member of the National Tire Research Center, General Motors looks forward to partnering with Virginia Tech and the Commonwealth of Virginia to pioneer research and development that will develop ‘green’ tire technologies to further improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles in the future,” said Karl Stracke, GM vice president of Global Vehicle Engineering said,