We love burning rubber, but it has yet to be in the name of science. But in GM’s case, the company committed a full $5 million to the National Tire Research Center in Halifax, Virginia in an efforts committed to creating a better tire to the tune of safety and efficiency.
The facility features a lofty $11.2 million in test equipment capable of spinning a tire to the equivalent of 200 mph on an electric dynamometer called the Flat-Trac LTRe. This allows engineers to monitor data on handling, ride, torque and braking forces on varying road conditions. It can also replicate every driving maneuver of a passenger car or light truck on the road, as well as emergency situations.
GM engineers and scientists will work with research partners at the facility to gather data on tire testing. GM claims that an optimal tire design can boost fuel economy by seven percent, by utilizing low-rolling resistance tread patterns. With this investment in the facility, GM hopes to be on the cutting-edge of next-generation tire development.