Mercedes-Benz has revolutionized the way prototypes are tested.
German engineering on another level - that is the best way to describe Mercedes new indoor testing center. The desire to test vehicles indoors and limit the need for several expensive outdoor tests in various climates has spurred Mercedes to create the ultimate simulation system. Located at the Mercedes-Benz Technology Center in Sindelfingen, Germany, two new climatic wind tunnels can push the limits of weather onto their prototype vehicles.
The engineers can send temperatures in the test center from a literally freezing minus 40C to a blistering 60C. They can blast the prototypes with hurricane winds up to 165mph and even submit them to torrential tropical rainfall or heavy snowstorms. A realistic (and somewhat terrifying) simulation of the burning hot sun can be run as well. "Even in the arctic regions of Sweden, the temperatures in winter are not always as low as we would like them to be for our test drives," said Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler.
Dr. Weber continued "Likewise, nor can we always rely on getting the extreme high summer temperatures we need for testing, even in America's infamous Death Valley.In our new climatic wind tunnels we can create whatever climate conditions we want at any time of year, whenever we need them."
The simulations should allow Mercedes to take only vehicles at an advanced stage of development outdoors for real street testing. Mercedes has further closed the gap between simulation and real-life testing.