SEOUL — South Korea’s top tire maker, Hankook Tire & Technology, opened what claimed to be Asia’s largest test track that enables the performance test of innovative tires for electric vehicles and supercars, along with high-tech research facilities.
The test site called “Hankook Technoring” was built in an area of 1.26 million square meters in Taean, about 115 kilometers (71 miles) southwest of Seoul. It has 13 tracks, including the longest test road in Asia and a high-speed circuit, which is 4.6km long and consists of four lanes. Hankook Tire said the high-speed driving of more than 250 kilometers per hour can be tested.
“I feel more deeply than anyone else the reality that we will be eliminated without innovation,” Cho Hyun-bum, chairman of the tire maker’s parent company, Hankook & Company, said in an opening speech in Taean on May 25. He said Hankook Technoring is designed to proactively respond to rapidly changing mobility environments and utilize new growth engines.
“In the era of digital transformation, it is most important to develop advanced technologies along with data-based big data analysis,” Cho said. Hankook Tire will build a big data analysis platform based on real-vehicle test data and develop virtual optimization technology using artificial intelligence. Data will be collected from a 37.1m high control tower with a state-of-the-art integrated monitoring system.
The tire company has spent about 230 billion won ($182 million) on constructing various tracks, such as a circular circuit to test tire steering stability and marginal performance, a dry road handling circuit, a wet road handling circuit, a braking test road, a hydroplaning road, and a noise test road.
The response of tires and vehicles in the most severe environment is tested and dataized for research in source technologies and future mobility. The company is developing airless tires for self-driving cars and tires equipped with sensors
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