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Latest Video


Autonomous Trap 001

LV

An artist demonstrates how a circle of salt could be used to trap an autonomous vehicle. This lighthearted exercise – which highlights the current limitations of the technology – is meant to signify the raft of potential challenges developers of AVs are yet to overcome

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Ford develops radical seat test system

LV

Robutt is a specially built robot designed to move like a human bottom, used to simulate how passengers get in and out of their car seats

Click here to watch the video

As the automotive world moves towards autonomous vehicles, is the value of motorsport as a trickle-down technology proving ground becoming less relevant?

News

BMW opens Aerodynamic Test Centre

 BMW Group has opened a new US$239 million (Euro 170 million) Aerodynamic Test Centre (ATC), which it claims is the world’s most modern facility of its kind throughout the entire automotive industry. The ATC comprises a wind tunnel serving to analyze vehicles in their original size. To reproduce the most important effects and phenomena when driving on the road, the road surface is modeled through a simulation process using five rolling tracks.

A second wind tunnel allows engineers to move the models tested from one position to the other by means of a control system operating in all directions above the world’s largest rolling road in a wind tunnel. This serves to analyze vehicle flow conditions under all kinds of circumstances, applying a concept already used for a number of years in motorsport. “Now, therefore, aerodynamics and driving dynamics may interact and be combined with one another also in the development of production cars,” says BMW.

The number of scenarios available as well as the precision of the test processes applied at the ATC offer an unusual standard for a facility of this kind. For example, both wind tunnels are able to generate an airflow velocity of up to 186mph (300 km/h) for the first time, providing the correct physical conditions for the measurement of true-to-scale models.

 The five-floor building was constructed on a piece of land measuring approximately 6.2 acres (25,000 square metres) in the immediate vicinity of the Munich FIZ Research and Innovation Centre.

BMW’s EfficientDynamics specialists focusing in the ATC specifically on aerodynamics used to work at no less than five different locations before moving into the new test center, traveling up to 20km in order to work together in the wind tunnel. Now, by putting all these specialists together in one building, the BMW Group ensures direct contact with extremely small distances between the various specialists and has established new processes for highly efficient interaction and cooperation. In all, 500 specialists in BMW EfficientDynamics will be working together in the new building.


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