09 December 2010

Miles of test roads

Automobiles are not simply designed, constructed, and sent out onto the roads in the hopes that they will behave the way the manufacturers believe they will. Rigorous testing is conducted to make sure that the cars and trucks sent out on the roads can perform in tough road conditions and in the safest manner possible. The sites where testing is conducted are referred to as proving grounds or test tracks.

General Motors, the sponsor of Epcot’s Test Track, was actually the first automotive company to create a proving ground. The first site began testing vehicles in 1924 in Milford, Michigan. The office space used to apprise crash test dummies, excuse me, I mean guests about the variety of tests they are about to take part in also houses photographs and statistics about a number of their proving ground facilities, including the original in Milford, Michigan. Other global stops include Kapuskasing Cold Weather Development Center, Millbrook Proving Ground, Holden’s Automotive Proving Ground, Desert Proving Ground, Cruz Alta Proving Ground, and, of course, the Test Track. The various destinations, from Australia to Brazil feature a wide range of climates, road lengths, banked curves, and other crucial assessments.

Here’s a look at the aerial views provided in the Test Track queue.

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