Ford has recently created a mobile platform for wind-tunnel testing for new automobiles created by the company.
The company has received a patent for the world’s first mobile aeroacoustic wind tunnel in order to use when company officials are traveling and need to test their cars for wind resistance. The structure of the “tunnels” are basically split between two 53-foot shipping containers that can be easily transported from city to city. Ford’s wind noise core supervisor Bill Gulker stated that the “new mobile wind tunnel saves [Ford’s] engineers time and increases productivity” over the long term. The new tunnels cut costs because they cost far less than the $50 million aerodynamics labs that currently serve as the industry standard in wind tunnel testing. Ford is putting the new wind tunnels to test at its Flat Rock, Michigan Assembly Plant. The company will be testing Lincoln vehicles for wind resistance standards, particularly the Lincoln Continental model sedan that the company produces on a large scale at the Flat Rock Assembly plant. The new wind tunnels highlight the increasing use of new technology to cut costs when facing regulation standards by automakers in the United States. The difficulty in developing cheaper means to test cars is that the testing methods must produce accurate results or else the company will be fined hefty amounts by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Ford must keep the potential negative effects of wind tunnel testing in mind as they move forward with using the new technology. The following is a video detailing the new development for Ford’s regulation experts: