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Ford has created some of the world's toughest road conditions at its Lommel test track
23 June 2016
With UK roads suffering a pothole epidemic, Ford believes it is time well spent. Drivers now suffer more pothole damage than ever with in excess of 25,000 pothole-
In the Autumn Statement Chancellor George Osborne responded with a "pothole fund", setting aside £250 million for road maintenance and repair, up to the end of the decade. It was dismissed by the AA as a "sticking-
The extent they go to at Lommel
The results recorded at Lommel assist Ford in making sure they build cars equal to the punishment that deteriorating roads dish out. With jagged cobblestones, vicious railroad crossings, sand-
The potholes are located by technicians who pore over worldwide warranty claims filed by customers reporting component failures. They are recorded and later -
Technicians painstakingly recreate each pothole in metal and concrete -
The facilities at Lommel enable the recording the stresses and strains exerted on individual components as a fleet of 230 vehicles (including rival manufacturers', for benchmarking) is pummelled over 80kms of artificial surfaces by specially trained drivers working in never-
All manufacturers' subject new models to similar punishment but Ford's unique pothole archive has made it the envy of handling and durability engineers across the motoring industry.
The data is analysed and used to improve current or future models, making components stronger or more flexible or by fine-
The cost of potholes in the last 12 months
Average cost to repair pothole damage is of course different region by region
Number of drivers reporting damage
Data source Daily Telegraph
Lommel Proving Ground (LPG) in Belgium is where for the past 40 years Ford replicates, in precise detail, some of the most diabolical road conditions from around the globe.