Buick Virtually Clones the Most Challenging Terrain
"Just like a photo scanner, we can scan the surface of a road to create a three-dimensional digital representation," said Mine Tasci, who is part of the Buick team. The scanner works with cameras and a laser to determine a 3D model of a road surface down to 1mm of fidelity.
One of the most toughest roads that is part of this new technology involves one leading to Mexico's Cerro del Cubilete shrine. "Each day, pilgrims from throughout Mexico are jostled and bumped as they traverse the stone road of Cubilete," Buick says.
It's a twisting, rocky path that could bring out vehicle rattles, squeaks and vibrations."Customers who drive on that road complain about steering rack noise," continued Tasci. "That's why we wanted to recreate this road so that we can test and ensure that our vehicles are up to the challenge of driving on roads like this one."
Buick makes use of this new application in order to submit new vehicles to rigorous virtual testing before developing a physical prototype. Testing on challenging roads like Cubilete allows Buick engineers to find and address issues early on in the development cycle. "In the end, it leads to higher-quality, quieter and more comfortable Buick cars and crossovers," said Tasci.