Hyundai Motor Group has opened a new US$51m Safety Test and Investigation Laboratory in Superior Township, Michigan. The first of its kind by an OEM in North America, it is dedicated to field safety and includes a field crash investigation lab, high voltage battery lab, forensics lab, 400m track and a Vehicle Dynamics Area skid pad.
Hyundai says the new facility will be focused on new technology development, identifying and replicating vehicle field issues, expediting investigations and conducting regulatory safety testing. It was developed in collaboration with the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) and will be fully operational by mid-October 2023 with around 160 employees.
“It is a proud day for Hyundai Motor North America, with the opening of a world-class safety laboratory in the US,” said José Muñoz, president and CEO, Hyundai and Genesis Motor North America. “Hyundai recognized the importance of expanding its hands-on field safety evaluation and investigation processes to help ensure the safety of our customers. We strive to be a leader in automotive safety.”
According to Brian Latouf, global chief safety officer at Hyundai Motor Company, the new facility will differentiate itself from other OEM laboratories through its dedicated purpose of investigating real-world crashes and field issues.
“Having such a capable and expansive safety and investigations laboratory in-house, will allow Hyundai to take a more proactive approach in determining safety issues and trends early-on,” said Latouf. “The Hyundai North American Safety Office is very excited to be an important contributor to our company’s future success through tackling quality, crashworthiness, and crash avoidance scenarios to protect customers.”
The opening of the new facility was welcomed by Per David Harkey, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). “Like the impressive number of Hyundai Motor Group’s Top Safety Picks, the opening of this facility demonstrates the company’s deep commitment to creating a safe transportation system and the vision of a world where mobility does not come at the expense of people’s lives.”
That view was echoed by Jonathan Smith, senior chief deputy director at the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, who attended the opening ceremony.
“We applaud Hyundai’s remarkable investment in the new Safety Test and Investigation Laboratory, setting new standards in automotive safety,” he said. “This facility isn’t just a testament to Hyundai’s commitment to protecting consumers, but an important step toward safer, smarter and more sustainable mobility solutions – all happening right here in Michigan.”
We will have more on this new facility in a feature in the November edition of Automotive Testing Technology International.