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11.22.2013

ASI’s Mitch Torrie Speaks with Ford’s Dave Payne at the Open Technology Forum

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Related topics: Automotive · Events
Mitch Torrie and Dave Payne at the Open Technology Forum
Mitch Torrie speaks with Dave Payne at the Automotive Testing Expo 2014 NA Open Technology Forum in October.

Standing room only. Attendees congregated to a presentation at the Automotive Testing Expo 2013 North America by ASI's Mitch Torrie and Ford Motor Company's Dave Payne.

The presentation was part of the Expo's Open Technology Forum, which gives companies a platform to discuss advancements in the vehicle testing field. In the twenty minute session, Torrie and Payne shared insights, statistics, and answered questions about the recently announced Ford robotic durability testing program.

"This was definitely an area of interest," said Eric Budd, ASI Sales Manager who attended the session. "The presentation demonstrated some of the results that a major OEM is using to justify investment in automation technology. People want to see why."

"I was impressed by the data correlation that Ford brought," recalled Torrie.


The durability program was initially designed to protect drivers from prolonged exposure to punishing track conditions, but the correlation statistics from the session also established some evidence that robotic vehicles perform more consistently on the tracks than their human counterparts.

Human drives may slow down, brace for impact, or make other slight adjustments throughout a testing event that can cause variability in testing data. Robotic drivers are much less susceptible to these minor variations.

Torrie was also excited about the miles that automated test vehicles have driven at Ford's proving ground in Romeo, Michigan.

According to Ford's statistics, autonomous vehicles have been responsible for accumulating in excess of 48,000 miles across some of the most physically taxing track conditions Michigan has to offer.

"This technology is not a research project," explained Torrie. "It's accumulating thousands of miles per month and is a viable alternative to exposing human drivers to durability testing events."

The successful implementation of vehicle robotics at Ford's durability testing facility continues to capture the attention of the automotive testing industry. Ford and ASI engineering teams were recently honored by the Automotive Testing Technology International magazine with their Hardware Innovation of the Year Award.