Design and Analysis of Kettering University’s New Proving Ground, the GM Mobility Research Center 2020-01-0213
Rapid changes in the automotive industry, including the growth of advanced vehicle controls and autonomy, are driving the need for more dedicated proving ground spaces where these systems can be developed safely. To address this need, Kettering University has created the GM Mobility Research Center, a 21-acre proving ground located in Flint, Michigan at the former “Chevy in the Hole” factory location. Construction of a proving ground on this site represents a beneficial redevelopment of an industrial brownfield, as well as a significant expansion of the test facilities available at the campus of Kettering University. Test facilities on the site include a road course and a test pad, along with a building that has garage space, a conference room, and an indoor observation platform. All of these facilities are available to the students and faculty of Kettering University, along with their industrial partners, for the purpose of engaging in advanced transportation research and education. This work describes the history of the proving ground development and outlines its design. Special emphasis is placed on a detailed analysis of the vehicle dynamics characteristics of the road course, with physical testing methods employed to evaluate and communicate its capabilities.