Asia’s largest proving ground opens in South Korea

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Hankook Tire has opened the Technoring, a new proving ground in Taean, South Korea, stated to be the largest proving ground in Asia. The facility covers 1,260,000m2  and features 13 testing tracks, designed to accommodate all types of vehicles from supercars to trucks and buses, including facilities for high-speed driving at up to 250km/h.

The proving ground is also equipped with a control tower, office buildings, workshops, fueling stations and electric vehicle charging stations. The 37.1m-high control tower is a hub through which tests are managed via integrated monitoring systems.

“Tires, being the only media in a vehicle that makes contact with the road surface, is the key for maximizing vehicle performance, providing safety, satisfying fuel efficiency and driving comfort. This is why we at Hankook recognize the need for various testing grounds to ensure best product quality in all conditions,” said Hyunbum Cho, chairman and CEO of Hankook & Company.

With data accumulated from testing at the Technoring, Hankook also plans to accelerate its digital transformation. The company is set to build a big data analysis platform and develop virtual optimization technology based on artificial intelligence. In the future, Hankook says it also aims to create a database recording the response of tires and vehicles tested under severe conditions, with which Hankook will build digital twins.

High-speed oval
The high-speed main circuit consists of 4 lane tracks with a total length of 4.6km. Designed to allow high-speed testing up to 250km/h on a straight course, the track includes a 38.87° high bank curve.

Vehicle dynamics area / skid pad
The vehicle dynamics area and skid pad test steering stability and performance limits through slalom tests, lane changes and tests on roundabouts (traffic circles). This track allows for testing at a maximum speed of 200km/h.

Dry handling circuit
The dry handling circuit tests handling performance on dry surfaces and is 3.4km in length, consisting of 16 corners. The straight course is 670m long, and allows a maximum speed of 190km/h.

Wet handling circuit / Hydroplaning curve
The wet handling circuit is 1.6km long and consists of 11 different corners. The circuit allows test driving up to 128km/h. The hydroplaning curve enables diversifying wet road conditions by adjusting depth of water ranging from 1mm to 10mm.

Designed to test ride comfort when driving, the 970m-long ride track comprises four lanes and 15 road surfaces including national highways, asphalt, brick roads, and more.

The braking course consists of four dry lanes and four wet lanes of various road surfaces made of asphalt, concrete and other materials. Dry braking test track enables test speeds up to 150km/h.

Hydroplaning straight
The 150m hydroplaning straight allows hydroplaning tests under various wet road conditions by adjusting depth of water ranging from 1mm to 10mm.

Pass by noise
The 920m-long track is designed to carry out tire noise tests to meet the requirements of car manufacturers and ISO certification.

Noise vibration harshness
This 700m-long course is designed to measure tire noise. It consists of seven different roads and five different lanes of asphalt and a concrete trench.

General road
The 5km-long general road connects all test tracks. It is designed to conduct a comprehensive performance test including ride comfort on various surfaces.

Featuring various obstacles such as puddles and boulders, the course is designed to test off-road tire performance.

Chip-cut road tracks
The 1.4km-long chip-cut road tracks test tire durability. The tracks also test chip and cut wear.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology International and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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