Ford Investing $200 Million For A New Wind Tunnel In Dearborn

15 February 2017, 8:22 am EST By Joshua King Tech Times
Ford intends to invest around $200 million for the construction of a research center in Dearborn which would contain a new wind tunnel. The tunnel would feature a sophisticated testing facility.  ( Mike Mozart | Flickr )

Ford intends to build a new vehicle aerodynamics research center, which will be located on 13 acres of land, next to the carmaker's current Drivability Test Facility in Dearborn. The current testing center is situated in Allen Park.

The upcoming wind tunnel complex will be constructed close to the company's assembly plant, called Flat Rock.

For the impending complex, Ford has confirmed it will be spending about $200 million. This will provide the automaker with a new testing facility, which will in turn facilitate the design of more competent cars and trucks. The complex will also include a new wind tunnel for better aerodynamic data and an advanced climate chamber.

"This investment in new world-class test facilities underpins Ford's ongoing commitment to advance our capabilities to continue to provide our customers with high-quality vehicles," said Raj Nair, the company's EVP and CTO.

The $200 million investment by Ford is in addition to the $1.2 billion it set aside in 2016 for renovating some of the company's buildings, including its R&D centers and headquarters in Dearborn.

Wind Tunnel Complex Uses For Ford

The company is aiming to improve the vehicle efficiency, the task which will be carried out in the research centre. The complex will feature some significant capabilities, such as a "rolling road" aerodynamic tunnel.

The wind tunnel will have offer environmental simulation. It will enable the automaker to simulate airflow up to 200 mph. Therefore, it will be used to test the aerodynamics of vehicles like cars or trucks. Moreover, the real-world simulations for driving will aid in improving fuel economy of the vehicles in the near future.

The tunnel will also include a new five-belt conveyer system, which will able to mimic of real-world drag over a rolling road. This will enable experts to precisely observe the motion of the vehicles. These conveyors are capable of revolving at a rate of 200 mph.

In addition to this, a cutting-edge climate chamber will also be present in the tunnel and support temperature extremes. This chamber will be able to simulate temperatures lower than those in the Arctic, as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

It would allow technicians to expose the vehicle to the highest temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. These extremities will facilitate Ford in providing customers with high-quality vehicles.

When Will The Wind Tunnel Be Ready?

The construction of the wind tunnel complex is slated to start by spring and it is expected to be operative by the end of 2019.

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