Bridgestone Americas has announced plans for the expansion of its Americas Technology Center campus in Akron, Ohio, USA. The project will include the addition of a new vehicle dynamics track to enable the development of future Bridgestone tire technologies.
The expanded tire testing facility will support Bridgestone’s development work at the Akron campus by enabling the company’s engineers to drive tire prototypes first hand. The company hopes this will enable its workers to understand the performance enhancements needed when designing products. The track will also supplement tire testing that is currently carried out at other Bridgestone proving grounds in Texas, Ohio, Mexico and South America.
“We’re excited to advance our leading-edge tire and technology development with the expansion of our testing capabilities in Akron,” commented Nizar Trigui, chief technology officer and group president, solutions businesses at Bridgestone Americas. “As we continue to evolve our products and provide sustainable mobility solutions to our customers, we’re confident that this new tire test track will support enhanced product education and improve agility in engineering decision making for our product development process.”
The latest test track facility will benefit from multiple vehicle dynamics courses designed to simulate real-world driving conditions. These will consist of a long straightaway for the assessment of lane-change performance, an NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) course to test ride comfort and road noise, and a wet- and dry-weather handling course. The track is scheduled for completion in summer 2022.
The new test track facility is the latest in a series of investments made by Bridgestone as the company seeks to solidify the Akron R&D campus as the base for all related research, product development, technology and core data systems throughout the Americas.
In addition to the Akron test track, Bridgestone is nearing completion of its Advanced Tire Production Center (ATPC), following an investment of over US$17m. The new ATPC will feature state-of-the-art production equipment and will be utilized for the manufacture of Firestone race tires for the NTT IndyCar Series. The facility will also be able to produce small batches of specialty tires and prototype tires for the testing and development of race and road applications.