Ford Truck Testing Now Performed by Robots

To test high-impact situations that may be too taxing for human drivers, Ford has developed a robotic system for testing trucks and cargo vans. 

“Some of the tests we do on our commercial trucks for North America are so strenuous that we limit the exposure time for human drivers,” says Dave Payne, manager, vehicle development operations.

A robotic module is set to drive the car on a pre-programmed route, though it is tracked by cameras and GPS which are accurate to within one inch.

The vehicles are then driven through a range of daunting stress tests, including broken concrete, cobblestones, metal grates, rough gravel, mud pits and oversized speed bumps. Previously, some of these tests were only performed once a day due to the stress that was placed on the human drivers, but now, Ford can run them throughout the day. Additionally, new even more grueling tests can now be designed.

The 2014 Ford Transit is currently using this technology to undergo testing.

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