Celebrate Milford Proving Ground’s 90th Birthday Today
Today marks GM’s Milford Proving Ground’s 90th birthday. Over the last 90 years, Milford has been responsible for durability testing to ensure GM’s vehicles have what it takes to survive a long time on the road.
“In 90 years, what hasn’t changed is that durability testing is physical,” explained Stephen Jenkins, the director of Global Proving Ground Operations, Test Labs, and Vehicle Material Engineering. “We can mathematically calculate how well a part should hold up under certain conditions, but it isn’t until we get a driver in the product and test over and over again that we can be sure.”
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At Milford Proving Ground, the durability team can put a vehicle through an entire lifecycle in just 18 months. Before a vehicle is released for production, the team will drive a vehicle 25,000 miles in extreme conditions, which is the equivalent of 100,000 miles in regular conditions. The team will also subject the vehicle to a number of intense tests, which include the Belgian Block Loop, chatter bumps, pothole drives, speed bumps, and twist ditches. The vehicle is also introduced to the humidity chambers (sans driver, of course). If a vehicle healthily withstands all of this over 18 months, only then will it be green lighted for production.
While Milford Proving Ground’s 90th birthday is today, the location has reason to celebrate for the rest of the year. Just today, GM announced that Milford’s Active Safety Training Area would be fully functional by December. Huzzah!