GM To Showcase High Feature Test Facility At Milford Proving Ground

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FOR RELEASE: 2006-05-22

DETROIT – General Motors Corp. will today hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony to showcase one of the most sophisticated powertrain vehicle development facilities in the world. GM’s new state-of-the-art High Feature Test Facility at the GM Milford Proving Ground is designed to simulate any type of road system or climatic condition found in the world.

Capable of achieving temperatures between 40 degrees below zero to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, humidity and altitudes from 700 feet below sea level to 12,500 feet, and simulating air speeds up to 100 miles per hour, the facility significantly accelerates powertrain vehicle development and enables notable cost reduction. The facility also provides full emissions measurement capability, meeting regional regulations in the U.S., Europe and Japan.

One technology feature of this new facility is its dynamic road simulation. GM engineers have mapped nearly two dozen mountain and desert roads where customer vehicles are driven. The climatic conditions along with road grades have been programmed into the test site computers. The computer simulated roads can be “played back” as test vehicles are driven to them. Any of the road schedules can be easily modified to simulate all of the four seasons, on a single day if needed.

“The High Feature Test Facility helps GM develop and validate the next-generation powertrain products by allowing testing currently completed on the road to be executed in a controlled, repeatable and climatically robust laboratory environment,” said Dan Hancock GM Powertrain vice president of engineering operations. “We have the ability to provide year-round climatic and altitude testing, which greatly improves our vehicle development time.”


The High Feature Test Facility at the GM Milford Proving Ground involved new construction of two full-feature test chambers. The test chambers contain features such as altitude, temperature, humidity, wind speed and emission measurement for drivability testing. Additionally, the adjustable floor tracks and vehicle entry paths can accommodate a large range of vehicles for powertrain evaluations. Capable of simulating just about any driving condition, the chambers equip GM with a year-round, altitude capable, powertrain vehicle testing facility providing comprehensive testing data to Powertrain development engineers.

In addition to the test chambers, the project involved a building addition and associated test support areas, including thermal soak rooms, control rooms and test article preparation areas. The facility can transition between one climatic extreme of arctic temperature to another such as desert heat in a matter of a few hours. There are four static chambers (non-driving or soak) where stationary vehicles are climatically tested.


The design of the facility included safety interlocks, overloads and emergency procedures and egress areas. The safety elements are a part of the normal operating procedures of the facility to ensure care for employees during reduced atmospheric pressure work environments.

About General Motors:

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world’s largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader for 75 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 327,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit , GM manufactures is cars and trucks in 33 countries. In 2005, 9.17 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. More information on GM can be found on

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