SEOUL, South Korea--Hyundai Mobis (KRX: 012330) traditionally begins each year with extreme cold weather tests to verify the design, engineering and performance of automotive components.
The 2017 Winter Tests are scheduled for 9 weeks in China and Sweden starting in January, and for 4 weeks in New Zealand starting from June.
Every year, Hyundai Mobis conducts performance development and reliability evaluations of its production and advanced technologies at winter test sites chosen for their extreme conditions. The testing of automotive components in tough environments where they are surrounded by ice and snow at very low temperatures is a fundamental and essential part of the process to ensure driver safety.
The products being tested are all in the final development stages and will be launched in volume production in the near future. The main purpose of these severe tests is to develop the winter performance of parts, and verify performance in conditions few vehicles will ever see, by utilizing a large number of researchers and vehicle types according to the characteristics of each region.
Hyundai Mobis is currently using three main sites and will soon add a fourth:
Arjeplog, Sweden: located at latitude 65° north, the test facility was constructed back in 2005. Arjeplog sees average temperatures of -15˚C(5˚F), and often gets as cold as -40˚C(-40˚F) which helps it achieve ice thicknesses exceeding 1m (39 inches). Covering an area of 1,650,000㎡ (about 407 acres), Hyundai Mobis utilizes this test site mainly to evaluate the performance of parts for Europe-bound cars.
Heihe, China: located in the Heilongjiang Province at latitude 49° north, the test facility was constructed in 2013. Heihe sees average temperatures of -23˚C(-9˚F), and the temperature goes as low as -37˚C(-34˚F). Its size is 2,900,000㎡(about 716 acres) and Hyundai Mobis utilizes this test site for full-vehicle tests on parts that will be installed in cars sold in Korea, China, North America and other regions.
Wanaka, New Zealand: located at latitude 45° south, the test facility’s location in the southern hemisphere combined with the Sweden and China sites provides the advantage of testing twice per year. Its average temperature is around -5˚C(23˚F), and has 70 snow guns for producing artificial snow. In New Zealand, Hyundai Mobis tests parts for all global markets.
During this year’s winter tests, the performance of electronic braking parts, such as MEB (Mobis Electronic Brake system), iMEB(Integrated Mobis Electronic Brake system) and EPB (Electronic Parking Brake), will be evaluated intensively. In addition, essential parts directly connected to the safety of drivers, such as MDPS(Motor Driven Power Steering) and DAS(Driver Assistance System) will be tested. Of particular note, the full-vehicle test for iMEB is underway in preparation for mass-production. iMEB is a next-generation brake system to be installed in environment-friendly vehicles. Hyundai Mobis developed iMEB in Korea in November 2015, the second of its kind in the world.
“We are testing the performance of parts in various ways in extreme conditions in the belief that ‘there is no excuse for not ensuring the utmost in safety,” said Jeong Ho-il, head of the System Test and Development. “We will do our best to increase the reliability of parts by diversifying evaluation items and models.”
Meanwhile, Hyundai Mobis is about to complete the construction of a large-scale testing center in Seosan, Korea in the first half of this year. A total of 14 test roads will be installed throughout the 1,090,000㎡(about 269 acres) in Seosan. The site will include a fake city to allow full-scale testing of autonomous driving technology.