What types of car test tracks are there?

Test Tracks

Before anything can be released to the public, it undergoes rigorous testing – for obvious reasons. Clothes, make-up, phones, wheels, and of course: vehicles. Regardless of what it is, it needs to be tested to make sure it works as intended, whether it’s about being pleasant to the eyes, or being able to make a phone call.

Well, one of the most important things to test are vehicles to ensure their performance and more importantly: safety. There’s a multitude of different car test tracks to achieve this. In this article, we’ll give you a brief overview of a few different automobile test tracks to give you an insight into what’s being tested. Do note, this will only be the tip of the iceberg. There’s seemingly an infinite amount of different car test tracks, all with their own purpose to help test the vehicle, find flaws and improve upon them.

Frequency sweep test track

The goal of the frequency sweep car test tracks is to create an environment where you can excite vehicles at different frequencies to detect and evaluate acousting problems, such as squeaks and rattles. The vehicle travels along the track at a constant speed, thus being exposed to a constant force, but with changing frequencies. The frequency is increased and decreased as the vehicle drives along the track, where the force is created from ribs mounted on the track to see at what frequencies it may squeak or rattle.

Cobblestone track

The cobblestone car test tracks have a similar function to the FSTT, where instead natural stone, often cobblestone, creates a randomly variable force instead of a controller frequency sweep to test the acoustics of the vehicles.

Torque hill track

Torque hill automobile test tracks are used to test the strength of the chassis under an uneven load/torque. It consists of multiple smaller hills, when driven over, the chassis is subjected to different degrees of forces working different parts of the chassis to test it.

Chassis scrape track

Chassis scrape tracks are types of special winter test tracks which are used to test the durability of a vehicle’s underbody against force scraping in cold temperatures where materials become more brittle. The obstacles are constructed from ice in various heights suitable for a variety of different vehicles.

Pothole automobile test tracks

A pothole track is, well, exactly as it sounds. These are car test tracks filled with potholes to simulate driving on a badly maintained road. It is at times often referred to as a “suspension car test track” as when driving over the potholes, the vehicle is subjected to sudden and intense shocks and jolts. This helps test the performance of the suspension, but also the chassis and other systems of the vehicle.

Stair car test tracks

The stair car test tracks use the same concept as the frequency sweep automobile test tracks and are similarly used to test vehicles for rattles and squeaks by exposing them to different frequencies. The difference is that stair tracks achieve the different frequencies by driving along the track at different speeds, rather than getting the full interval whilst maintaining a constant speed.

And there you have it, a few of the different car test tracks often used to test the performance of a vehicle. Once again, as mentioned in the beginning, this is only the tip of the iceberg. There’s numerous more automobile test tracks and special winter test tracks to test the world’s vehicles (both electric and ICE) before they can be released to the public.