Ford has replaced human drivers with two robots called Shelby and Miles, to test its new cars in extreme temperatures. The robots are used to perform tests in environmental conditions that are too dangerous for any human operator. Shelby and Miles can work in temperatures ranging from minus 40 degrees Celsius to 80 degrees Celsius, as well as at extreme altitudes. and the other to turn the engine on and off.
Vehicle tests are being conducted at Ford's secret weather factory in Cologne, Germany, a football field-sized building for research and development that includes huge 1.2-megawatt wind turbines, compressed air containers, ice machines, and a tunnel. Wind speeds reach 155 miles per hour.
The Ford plant aims to ensure that drivers can rely on vehicles that have withstood a variety of weather conditions ranging from the Sahara desert, Siberia, to the highest peaks of the Alps.
However, the simulation conditions are so realistic that even the most experienced human test drivers might get tired or unwell when doing an altitude test, for example. It seems that replacing humans with “bots” provides many advantages, especially since the participation of test drivers requires the application of safety protocols to monitor their health, while the company does not worry about the health of “bots”, which, if broken, can be repaired or replaced. Miles and Shelby can be set up and programmed to simulate different driving styles.
“These two new drivers are a great addition to the team, as they can perform challenging endurance tests at high altitudes and in extreme temperatures, and once the robot is in the driver’s seat, we can run tests all night without having to,” said Frank Selig, supervisor of wind tunnel testing at the company. to worry that the driver will need a sandwich or a break to use the bathroom.”