Honda R&D opens Proving Ground in Thailand
Honda R&D Asia Pacific (HRAP) recently held a ceremony to formally open the Honda R&D Asia Pacific Prachinburi Proving Ground at the Rojana Industrial Park in the Prachinburi province of Thailand.
Specially designed for the Asia & Oceania region, the Honda R&D Asia Pacific Prachinburi Proving Ground is comprised of eight different test courses over an 800,000 sqm area, with Honda reportedly spending over THB 1.7 billion for its construction. It also makes Thailand only the third country where Honda has proving grounds after Japan and the US.
The eight test courses are:
1) The Oval Course
A 2.18-kilometer oval course. To be used to test a vehicle’s performance while driving at high speeds, plus other tests such as noise levels from wind in the cabin and steering while controlling.
2) The Winding Course
A 1.38-kilometer winding course. To be used for general performance testing, including the effectiveness of braking systems and vehicle stability. The Winding Course simulates terrain of varying elevations, and incorporates 17 turns and blind spots.
3) The Vehicle Dynamics Area
An extended area from the Oval Course. To be used to test stability control at high speeds and braking efficiency during sharp turns.
4) The Wet Course
A course which simulates wet and slippery road conditions. To be used to test the impact of wet roads on a vehicle’s performance. The Wet Course features the Pool Road, a test road alongside the Splash Road and the Wet Brake Road, which can adjust the water level from 0 to 1,000 mm to simulate flooding which is common in Asia, and also test water resistance and any effects on the engine.
5) The Ride Road Course
A course which simulates road surfaces from different countries in Asia & Oceania. To be used to test general performance on different road surfaces. The Ride Road Course has eight roads including the Concrete Highway, the Noise Road using damaged asphalt, and the Camber Road.
6) The Special Surface Course
A test course which was designed to model rough road surfaces with 3D technology. To be used to test the durability of the underbody of a vehicle. The course has eight roads, which include the Speed Breaker and the Concrete Rough Road.
7) The Slope Course
A slope course to be used to test engine strength and braking performance.
8) The Straight Course
A 1.2-kilometer course to test fuel economy and acceleration.
The Prachinburi Proving Ground will be used for Honda’s automobiles and motorcycles, with various tests like handling, stability, and overall performance to be carried out on the Japanese carmaker’s products for the region. In addition, the lawns on the proving ground will be used in the future to test Honda’s lawn care products.
“Thailand has been at the center of our manufacturing and exports in the Asia & Oceania region as well as an important base for our R&D operations,” said Honda Motor Co. Chief Officer for Regional Operations (Asia & Oceania) and Asian Honda Motor Co. President and CEO Shinji Aoyama. “The Prachinburi Proving Ground will reinforce our product line-up by providing more competitive and attractive models beyond the expectations of customers in Thailand and the region.”