Global tire company Hankook Tire & Technology (Hankook Tire) announced the opening of Hankook Technoring, a new proving ground in Taean, South Korea. The largest proving ground in Asia, it will serve as a state-of-the-art R&D facility for Hankook’s most advanced products to come, the company says.
Hankook Tire held an inaugural ceremony at Hankook Technoring on May 25, inviting media and partners to attend where the company presented Hankook’s mid- and long-term innovation strategy and commitment to Hankook Technoring for sustainable growth. Executives present at the ceremony included: Hyunbum Cho, chairman and CEO of Hankook & Co.; Sooil Lee, president and CEO of Hankook Tire; Jongseon Ahn, chief operating officer of Hankook & Co.; Jongho Park, president and chief administrative officer of Hankook Tire; and Bonhee Ku, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Hankook Tire.
Covering 311 acres, the equivalent of 235 American football fields, Hankook Technoring is the largest proving ground in Asia. It comprises 13 testing tracks, including the longest test track in Asia, and enables rigorous testing of Hankook’s most advanced products, including tires for electric vehicles (EVs) and supercars. The test tracks are designed to accommodate all types of vehicles – from supercars to trucks and buses – and can accommodate testing at speeds of up to 155mph.
The proving ground is also equipped with a control tower, office buildings, workshops, fueling stations and EV charging stations. The 121.7-foot-high control tower manages test progress through integrated monitoring systems to simulate various test surface and climate conditions.
“Tires, being the only media in a vehicle that makes contact with the road surface, are the key to 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 the best product quality in all conditions,” said Hyunbum Cho, chairman and CEO of Hankook & Co.
Through the completion of the Hankook Technoring facility, Hankook Tire says it has established a complete R&D infrastructure for further advancing its innovation capabilities. This infrastructure is expected to create synergy with Hankook’s existing facilities, which include Hankook Technoplex, the company’s global headquarters, as well as a control tower for designing innovative products and building a mid-and-long-term strategy. Original technologies are developed and secured at Hankook Technodome, the company’s high-tech central R&D center.
The strengthened R&D infrastructure will allow Hankook to continue leading the automotive industry in the future. As a center for breakthrough innovations, Hankook Technoring will play a pivotal role in providing optimal solutions for the upcoming e-mobility and autonomous vehicle era, meeting premium carmakers’ stringent and diversified demands.
With accumulated data from actual tests at Hankook Technoring, Hankook also plans to accelerate its digital transformation. The company will build a big data analysis platform and develop Virtual Optimization Technology based on artificial intelligence. In the future, Hankook also aims to create a database of responses of tires and vehicles tested in the most severe environments, with which Hankook will build a Digital Twin for securing original and innovative technologies to apply for future mobility.
Furthermore, Hankook Tire plans to actively seek cooperation with various mobility companies, research and educational institutions, and startups while fostering a driving culture by utilizing the state-of-the-art infrastructure of Hankook Technoring. This will lead the company not only to continue innovating its R&D capabilities, but also to contribute to the advancement of global mobility technology.