Ford’s Lommel Proving Ground Has 1.2 Grueling Miles of Potholes
As winter gradually slides into the background to be replaced by the warm embrace of spring, you can practically guarantee a considerably rougher ride for future commutes. Potholes will start cropping up on roadways like buds on trees, and the result comes at a great cost to drivers in the US. According to a study from AAA, drivers in America have spent $15 billion to repair damage brought about by potholes alone.
To help reduce the future cost of pothole damage, Ford built its 50-mile test track in Lommel, Belgium specifically to replicate some of the worst road hazards possible. In just a short jaunt, Ford has fit in more than 100 simulated hazards prevalent not just in America, but in Asia, Austria, Australia, France, Germany, Russia, South America, Spain, and the UK.
In that stretch, there are 1.2 miles’ worth of potholes alone, in addition to cobblestone, granite blocks, railroad crossings, and countless other unique textures. Basically, if you hate driving on rough road, it’s your worst nightmare.
Watch: World’s Worst Road at Lommel Proving Ground in Belgium
“From a rutted traffic junction in China to a bumpy German side-street, this road is a rogues’ gallery of the most bruising surfaces that our customers might encounter,” said Eric-Jan Scharlee, durability technical specialist at Ford’s Lommel Proving Ground. “By incorporating these real-world challenges into our test facilities we can develop future vehicles to better cope with challenging conditions.”
Ford used the Lommel Proving Ground to test the all-new 2017 Ford Fusion V6 Sport’s new computer-controlled shock absorber system.