Back in 1924, General Motors became the first in the industry to introduce a dedicated automobile testing facility: the 90-year-old Milford Proving Ground.
It’s provided GM engineers with a wealth of invaluable information over the years and it’s grown to become one of the most prominent automobile test facilities on the continent. Similarly, the Shanghai GM/PATAC Gaungde Proving Ground in Anhui, China, recently welcomed media to illustrate how the most advanced proving grounds in the country (according to GM) helps facilitate vehicle design and development in China.
“The Guangde Proving Ground is enabling our joint ventures to offer vehicles that meet the highest levels of safety, quality, performance and durability not just in China, but in the world,” said Matt Tsien, GM executive vice president and GM China president. “It has significantly improved testing efficiency, shortened product development time and reduced test costs.”
Guangde was opened by GM, SAIC, Shanghai GM and the PATAC (Pan-Asia Technical Automotive Center) on September 22, 2012, and offers more than 60 kilometers (37 miles) of test roads on its 5.67 square-kilometer (3.52 mile) grounds. That’s a lot smaller than the 212km (132 miles) of road offered by the Milford proving ground, sure, but it’s still the largest proving grounds in the country.
You know all about the Milford Proving Ground, but here a few facts about China’s largest proving ground you might not know:
– It’s capable of testing vehicles in more than 70 different driving conditions.
– Vehicles are put through more than 20-million of testing on an annual basis.
– It features an Oval Track, Vehicle Dynamics Test Area, Low Coefficient Surface Area, Ride & Handling Loop, Hill Test Facility, Durability Test Area, Long Straightaway, and Environment Test Facility, and more.
– The Oval Track is longest in China and carries a maximum speed of 280km/h (173 mph); it also has a maximum rolling angle curve of 35 degrees (the smallest in the country).
– The 120,000 square-meter Vehicle Dynamics Test Area is also the largest in China and helps support the development of brakes, stability and suspension systems.
– The Environment Test Facility includes a Salt Mist Chamber, Water Trough, Grit Trough, Mud Trough, High Temperatures and Humidity Chamber, and a Cold Chamber.
We may mention Milford more often, but there’s a lot to be said about the largest proving ground in the company’s largest market.