VW builds new safety facility

Volkswagen is bringing together its vehicle safety expertise at a single location.

A new three-story building with approximately 8,000sqm of floor space was constructed at Volkswagen headquarters in Wolfsburg. At the centre is a new state-of-the-art crash sled facility which for the first time can simulate lateral and rotational vehicle body movements both horizontally and vertically.

‘This state-of-the-art sled system allows us to reproduce the dynamic movements of a crash as well as simulate so-called ‘prebraking’ scenarios’, said Dr Gunnar Koether, head of vehicle safety at Volkswagen. This is possible due to precisely controllable hydraulic system on the sled, which can simulate both forward ‘pitching’ as well as lateral ‘yawing’ of the test vehicle immediately prior to impact.

‘In the new safety centre, we are bringing together all of our safety-related activities under a single roof. That not only allows us to make use of new testing technologies, but also it affords us shorter distances and additional synergy effects,’ said head of technical development services Kai Schweingruber.

At the new sled facility, vehicles test at speeds of up to 100km/h with total weights of up to three tons.