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Ford constructing "Weather Factory" to test cars in extreme conditions

Friday 25 November 2016, By Autovolo

Ford constructing "Weather Factory" to test cars in extreme conditions

Ford constructing "Weather Factory" to test cars in extreme conditions

Ford is working on a state-of-the-art “Weather Factory” that will give engineers the ability to test new cars against a range of demanding conditions – all within one location.

Located in Cologne, Germany, the Environmental Test Centre will be capable of replicating altitudes higher than Mont Blanc, as well as vehicle and wind speeds of up to 155mph. It’ll even be able to produce snow, harsh sunlight and more.                          

Ford claims that the new facility, which is built over 5,500 square metres, will be the most advanced of its kind.

Joe Bakaj, vice-president of product development for Ford of Europe, said: “With industry-first features, like the high altitude testing and the ability to simulate heavy snow, this new facility offers a toolkit that will help us to continue to develop best-in-class vehicles.

“This is a significant step forward that will enable Ford to efficiently simulate the most demanding environmental conditions around the globe under repeatable conditions.”

The Environmental Test Centre will give engineers the ability to work upon nine different vehicles at once, when the facility becomes fully operational late next year.

It will give them the chance to assess elements such as the car’s brakes, safety features and electronics in demanding conditions.

The “Weather Factory” includes two climate wind tunnels and a high-altitude laboratory. It is expected that the facility will be operational late next year.