Audi has opened its new Vehicle Safety Center at its technology park in Ingolstadt, Germany. The facility will allow the automaker to conduct numerous types of crash tests before launching a new model.

The new Audi Vehicle Safety Center (AFZ) in Ingolstadt will employ around 100 people and cover all known and relevant test scenarios. During the design phase, it was ensured that the facility would be able to perform tests that go far beyond the current requirements of Audi's many markets. This means that the facility can be flexibly adapted to future developments.

Audi invested a total of around 100 million euros ($107 million at today’s exchange rate) in the facility, with construction taking three years. The new Vehicle Safety Center can handle a greater number and variety of vehicle crash tests than the crash hall previously used on the Ingolstadt plant site. The AFZ is also much more extensive, with a core area of 130 by 110 meters (430 by 360 ft) and a height of 20 meters (65 ft). The integrated crash arena consists of a support-free area measuring 50 by 50 meters (165 by 165 ft), while the opposing run-up tracks have a total length of 250 meters (820 ft), enabling tests at speeds exceeding today’s usual requirements. An additional lane also allows right-angle car-to-car crashes involving two vehicles.

A crash block weighing 100 tons is arranged in the crash arena so that it can be moved and rotated, enabling a highly efficient process for the many different types of crash tests. The area is crisscrossed with several crash lanes, enabling research on collisions between two vehicles and integral safety. The so-called “flying floor” also allows vehicles to be driven sideways against obstacles. Each vehicle undergoes a high double-digit number of test scenarios before it is launched.

Belt systems and airbags are developed even more efficiently thanks to an innovative coasting slide with a delay unit. High-speed cameras and energy-efficient LED lighting systems facilitate the team's work in the Audi Vehicle Safety Center. A dummy lab, component test benches, workshops and offices complete the building.

More than 60 crash test dummies of various types are used in the new crash arena – from an 18-month-old toddler to an adult weighing 102 kg (225 lb). The sophisticated THOR dummies use up to 150 sensors to obtain relevant data during the tests.

“Safety is a top priority at Audi. Our new vehicle safety center is impressive proof of this commitment,” says Oliver Hoffmann, Member of the Audi Board of Management for Technical Development. “Today’s Audi models achieve outstanding results in globally valid test procedures. But we’re not resting on our laurels. Instead, we’re continuing to improve our development and testing capabilities.”

Source: Audi

Tags: Audi
Евгений Ушаков
Evgenii Ushakov
14 years driving