Bosch has invested approximately $8 million to renovate its vehicle test track in Flat Rock MI to provide a state-of-the-art facility that will be used to test a variety of automotive technologies.
The renovation included repaving and expanding the surface size of the site's Vehicle Dynamics Area, and reconfiguring the test facility to accommodate Bosch's vehicle dynamics and foundation brake testing.
Facility improvements include:
- Pad size expansion from 417,000 to 937,000 square feet
- Addition of a three-lane high bank curve
- Extension of the track loop from 3/4-mile to 1.4 miles
- New installation of a hydroplane surface
“This proactive investment in the expansion of our testing facility provides us with the necessary means to continue to bring innovative safety technologies to market,” said Ronaldo Reimer, regional president, Chassis Systems Control Division, Bosch North America. “The current state of the economy puts even greater focus on finding the right balance between running a leaner, smarter business while also having the tools and products necessary to continue to advance innovation to meet future needs and requirements.”
Plans for the Vehicle Dynamics Area renovation began in August 2007. After breaking ground in May 2008, renovation of the Vehicle Dynamics Area required 13,000 hours of labor and was completed on time and within targeted budget in November 2008.
Since its original design in 1989, the Flat Rock facility has served as a key tool in Bosch's development of crash avoidance technologies intended to help reduce US vehicle-related fatalities. Bosch ensures its systems meet real-world driving requirements through rigorous testing like that performed at its facility in southeast Michigan. The Flat Rock facility is one of three Bosch proving grounds in the United States and one of seven Bosch proving grounds worldwide, serving a variety of manufacturers and suppliers in the light-vehicle, heavy-truck, recreational vehicle, and bus industries. One of the facility's test surface areas, the Vehicle Dynamics Area contains both wet and dry asphalt and can accommodate high-speed straight-line stops.
The project required removal of the existing track; installation of a new subgrade material improved with lime stabilization; installation of a new test track with a banked curve; hydroplane area; vehicle dynamics area; staging area and new storm water retention ponds; and extension of electrical service for the test track stormwater pumping area.