Bridgestone to expand US tech centre with test track facility

Bridgestone  to expand US tech centre with test track facility

Tyre major Bridgestone Americas plans to expand its Akron-based Americas Technology Centre campus to include a new vehicle dynamics test track for the development of future tyre technologies. To be completed next summer, the track will also supplement tyre testing operations currently performed at Bridgestone’s Proving Grounds in Texas, Ohio, Mexico, and South America.

The new tyre testing facility will support ongoing research and play an indispensable role in the tyre development work taking place across the Akron campus by allowing teammates the opportunity to drive prototypes first-hand and quickly understand the performance enhancements necessary for the tyres they are designing.

Upon its completion, the test track facility will feature multiple vehicle dynamics courses designed to simulate the rigors of real-world driving conditions. These include a long straightaway to assess lane change performance; an NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) course to test ride comfort and road noise; and a wet and dry weather handling course.

The new test track facility is the latest in a series of investments by Bridgestone to solidify its Akron R&D campus as home to all its research, product development, technology, and core data systems throughout the Americas.

The company is also nearing completion of its Advanced Tire Production Centre (ATPC), slated to open next summer, where the company will manufacture Firestone race tyres for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The ATPC, an investment of more than US$17 million, will feature state-of-the-art production technologies to support race tyre manufacturing and will be capable of efficiently producing small batches of specialty, prototype tires for testing and development purposes for both racing and on-road applications.

Bridgestone also flipped the switch and relit its iconic Firestone sign atop the ATPC. The Firestone sign is an indelible part of the city’s history and stood for more than a century atop the Firestone Plant One building before being relocated to the ATPC in September of this year. In the spirit of Bridgestone’s commitment to sustainability, the Firestone sign has undergone a full restoration, complete with upgrades to its structure and the installation of more than 400 linear feet of energy-efficient LED light bulbs.

The Bridgestone Americas Technology Centre Akron campus spans more than 100-acres and is home to more than 600 teammates dedicated to developing the design, specification and materials used in tyres produced in both North and South America and houses multiple labs and testing technologies to develop solutions for the future of mobility. The centre was designed to support both human health and a reduced environmental impact, and it has been certified as meeting LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) specifications for environmentally conscious buildings in the US, it adds.