It’s snowing in Detroit. Although snow in Michigan isn’t the news story of the century, the fact that it’s snowing in August might turn a few heads. In Ford’s Allen Park, facility engineers have built two tunnels that can simulate temperatures from 15 below zero to above 100 degrees.
Camera crews were invited to watch Ford pummel an F-350 Super Duty pickup truck with snow and sub-zero temperatures inside the tunnel. The point of this harsh test was to make sure that the vehicle’s engine, air filter, and intake system can perform in any weather situation. Joe McCann, a Ford Engineer, said, “Every vehicle, no matter where it’s sold, could end up in cold weather conditions. We have to make sure it performs well regardless of temperature or altitude.” Ford tests weather in one tunnel and altitude in another.
The purpose of having these tunnels is to cut down on testing time. Instead of having to transport a model across the world to get the right conditions Ford can simply throw a car into the tunnels and test away. The engineers love it as well, as they can repeat a test without having variables change from test to test. This allows Ford to make better vehicles that are more durable and of a higher quality than its competition.