The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

GM Researching Tire Technology to Improve Fuel Economy

November 21, 2012

The Flat-Trac LTRe system can provide various types of data on tire performance, for example on how the tires perform during vehicle maneuvers and in different road conditions.
The Flat-Trac LTRe system can provide various types of data on tire performance, for example on how the tires perform during vehicle maneuvers and in different road conditions.

DETROIT – General Motors is researching ways to improve fuel economy by developing new tire technology. The automaker has partnered with the new National Tire Research Center in in Halifax County, Va. to develop new tire technologies. GM said new tire technologies could result in up to a 7% improvement in fuel economy, according to some estimates, with one example being low-rolling-resistance tires.

The National Tire Research Center facility has $11.2 million in tire performance test equipment, known as Flat-Trac LTRe, which can replicate the driving maneuvers of passenger cars or light-duty trucks on roads. This system is capable of running a tire at up to 200 mph and can provide tire-related data on handling, ride, torque, and braking capabilities on different types of surfaces, including wet roads.

The center’s facility also includes the Southern Virginia Vehicle Motion (SoVa Motion) Laboratory, which offers shock and suspension testing, virtual prototyping of vehicle components, and on-vehicle sensing, such as wheel force transducers. GM said SovaMotion will use the Tire Center’s test data to conduct drive and handling simulations that could help reduce the time and associated costs of vehicle program development.

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  1. 1. Paul Morgan [ December 05, 2012 @ 01:54PM ]

    This is a "Pipe Dream" Article. Those of us who actually make the Precision, On-Vehicle Tire Rolling Resistance Measurements for Fuel Economy Improvement, know that the numbers from the MTS machines are flawed & that the MTS Wheel Force/Torque Sensors are very expensive & are prone to significant errors.

    The GM Milford Proving Ground Facility was in the proper direction b4 GM went bankrupt. If Management believes this will replace the program, they will continue to lose ground in the area to Ford, Honda, Mazda & Nissan.

    Tire Rolling Resistance plays a Very Significant Role in Improving Fuel Economy, but when it comes to measurement errors, garbage in produces garbage out!!!

    Parasitic Frictional HorsePower Losses are extremely difficult to make & are also known as the "Beast"!


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