ERJ staff report (DS)
Detroit - General Motors is attempting to develop its own tyre technologies in the US through an on-going research programme with the new National Tire Research Center in Halifax County, Virginia. GM contributed $5 million to the centre and plans to use the facilities there to develop new generations of tyre - especially in the rolling resistance area.
The company is expected to begin its research efforts from January 2013, according to a press release from GM.
â€œThe work we'll undertake at the National Tire Research Center will have a big impact on how quickly next-generation tyre technologies will be developed and the accuracy of their design and engineering,â€ said Ken Morris, GM's executive director of Global Vehicle Performance and Safety, and proving grounds and test labs. Morris attended the center's ribbon-cutting ceremony in October.
GM focussed in particular on a Flat-Trac LTRe machine. â€œThis facility's test equipment is like going from a basic telescope to the Hubble - it opens up a whole new world of possibilities,â€ said Frank Della Pia, a former GM vehicle dynamics manager who is executive director for the tyre research center.
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Press release from GM