Bridgestone Americas will be expanding its Americas Technology Center campus to include a new test track for the development of future tire technologies, the company announced.
The new tire testing facility will support ongoing research and play a role in the tire development work taking place across the Akron campus by allowing teammates the opportunity to drive prototypes firsthand and quickly understand the performance enhancements necessary for the tires they are designing, the company said. The track will also supplement comprehensive tire testing operations currently performed at Bridgestone’s 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,” said Nizar Trigui, chief technology officer and group president, solutions businesses, 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.”
Upon its completion in Summer 2022, the test track facility will feature multiple vehicle dynamics courses designed to simulate the rigors of real-world driving conditions. These include a long straightaway to assess 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 new test track facility is the latest in a series of investments by Bridgestone to solidify its Akron R&D campus as home to all its research, product development, technology and core data systems throughout the Americas, the company said.
The company is also nearing completion of its Advanced Tire Production Center (ATPC), slated to open next summer, where the company will manufacture Firestone race tires for the NTT IndyCar Series, Bridgestone representatives said. The ATP will feature production technologies to support race tire manufacturing and will produce small batches of specialty, prototype tires for testing and development purposes for both racing and on-road applications, the company said.