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As automotive climates shift, GKN ramps up its winter testing

  • Magazine Article
  • 19AUTP06_13
Published June 01, 2019 by SAE International in United States
  • English

As the influx of electrification continues to roil the industry, seamlessly integrating the hardware and wealth of software it brings with it creates a far broader engineering challenge. Tier-1 companies that traditionally supplied “parts” are rapidly transitioning from a component-level mindset to system-level projects that include exponential investments in programming and control algorithms. Meshing innovative electrified propulsion systems while still meeting diverse and performance-hungry OEM integration criteria is making winter testing more crucial than ever.

Driveline and AWD specialist GKN Automotive knows this better than most and has been investing heavily in its winter testing facilities near Arjeplog, Sweden. The town is only an hour's drive from the Arctic Circle, but this village in Sweden's northernmost Lappland province can see its population increase more than 10-fold during the northern hemisphere's annual December-to-March winter-testing window. Billing itself as the “Ice Driving Capital of the World”, the region is home to sprawling reindeer herds and multiple winter-test facilities and programs, from customers including Land Rover, Continental, Pirelli, Bosch and Porsche