New vehicles have been tested in the safety of private tracks for decades, allowing automakers to reach reliable levels of performance before taking to public roads. Various facilities have opened up in recent years with a particular focus on automated driving functions and systems that rely on vehicle connectivity.
Since opening in 2017, the American Center for Mobility (ACM) has become a favoured proving ground for a range of new vehicle technologies. Based in Southeast Michigan, the ACM offers around 500 acres of road networks, tunnels and motorways. It is situated at Willow Run, a brownfield site that once produced bombers during the Second World War, and counts Ford and GM as previous owners.
Reuben Sarkar took the role of President and Chief Executive at the ACM in May 2020. Speaking to Automotive World, he explained how the facility is now helping to hone the next generation of smart vehicles, and why the role presented a homecoming of sorts.
The ACM is more than just a repurposed airfield. Do you get a sense of the historical significance being based at Willow Run?
Everyone here acknowledges the history of the site, and…