Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Columbia Loves a Buick, But What About This Road?

Buick undergoing virtual testing (Source: GM Media)
Columbia is blessed to have roads that are in more or less good condition.  But when the roads get rougher, you still expect your Buick to handle like the world-class car that it is.  Buick engineers put thousands of hours of testing on the roughest roads they can create, but Buick now puts new models to the test digitally even before the first model hits the test track.

Buick Testing for Columbia, SC Drivers

Istanbul native Mine Tasci is part of a team of engineers that created an innovative road scanner that makes a micro-detailed 3D digital representation of some of the toughest real-world road surfaces. Then she drives equally detailed digital Buick vehicles on the digital roads to test for quality and reliability.

"Just like a photo scanner, we can scan the surface of a road to create a three-dimensional digital representation," said Tasci. The scanner works with cameras and a laser to determine a 3D model of a road surface down to 1mm of fidelity.

An interesting application of this new technology involves a road leading to Mexico's Cerro del Cubilete shrine. It's a twisting, rocky path that winds its way up toward one of the most important religious shrines in Mexico. Each day, pilgrims from throughout Mexico are jostled and bumped as they traverse the stone road of Cubilete. 

If ever there was a road that could bring out vehicle rattles, squeaks and vibrations, Cubilete is it. "Customers who drive on that road complain about steering rack noise," said Tasci. "That's why we wanted to recreate this road so that we can test and ensure that our vehicles are up to the challenge of driving on roads like this one."

Buick submits new vehicles to rigorous virtual testing well before a physical prototype ever sees the light of day. Testing on challenging roads like Cubilete allows Buick engineers to find and address issues early on in the development cycle. "In the end, it leads to higher-quality, quieter and more comfortable Buick cars and crossovers," said Tasci.

Try a Buick in Columbia, SC

Jim Hudson Buick is the premier Buick dealer in Columbia, SC for both sales and service.  Recognized as a ten-time Readers' Choice award winner by readers of The State, Jim Hudson Buick serves South Carolina Buick drivers with a great lineup ranging from the all-new, sport-injected Buick Regal to the exceptionally spacious Buick Enclave luxury crossover.  We invite you to experience The New Class of World Class at our showroom located at 7201 Garners Ferry Road in Columbia.

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