Ford has recently claimed that it will invest over $200 million into building a wind tunnel in Allen Park, which is a new medium to further improve Ford’s designs and functionality. Although Ford already has several wind tunnels around the world, no serious improvements were made to said tunnels, limiting the total potential for change. What the wind tunnel actually does is simulate wind speeds of up to 200 mph and also includes a climate chamber that allows temperatures of -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing Ford to test their new models in a variety of conditions.
Ford’s executive vice president and global product development chief Raj Nair, spoke about how this new wind tunnel is only pushing Ford’s ambition to create high-quality vehicles that reflect the innovation that Ford is facilitating. Specifically, the wind tunnel allows automakers to improve the aerodynamics of their vehicles and improve fuel economy through careful inspection of design and functional change. The new wind tunnel will also include a new five-belt conveyor system that can emulate real-life road conditions, allowing automakers to guarantee improvement in safety.
The wind tunnel will be situated on 13 acres next to Ford’s current Drivability Test Facility. It has been stated that construction will begin later this year on the complex. Along with the wind tunnel, Ford had announced a $1.2 billion investment to update most of the buildings surrounding the wind tunnel in Allen Park, including its headquarters and its research and developmental centers. This renovation was meant to give Ford’s employees the work environment and technology necessary to design and develop cars of the future. The buildings in the surrounding area were over 60 years old and the environment it created was the opposite of what was needed to create a progressive mood for all of Ford’s employees.
The buildings in the surrounding area were over 60 years old and the environment it created was the opposite of what was needed to create a progressive mood for all of Ford’s employees. When it’s done, the campus for the research and development center will include a new circular modern building that, according to Ford, will generate more energy than it consumes. All the buildings will be equipped with the latest environmentally friendly technology, such as geothermal heating and cooling and the ability to generate renewable energy from the sun. Ford’s project includes the renovation or construction of more than 7.5 million square feet of workspace, studios and labs. About 4.5 million square feet of that space will be either new or renovated space for research and development. The plan for this renovation will provide Ford with the resources to completely renovate their infrastructure for their vehicles.
Seeing how Ford is investing so much into both renovating its internal structure/ headquarters, and improvements in self-driving technology, it is highly plausible that Ford becomes the leader in the motor-vehicle industry once again with the strong support they have for self-driving technology. With the new wind tunnel that Ford is investing in, the self-driving technology could quickly become a reality across all of Ford’s newest models. Along with other major automakers, Ford will surely bring the futuristic technology that many thought was impossible to developed today to reality.
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