Hyundai like other automotive companies is preparing for an electrified future where mobility and other innovative technologies will rewrite the way we view automobiles. However, the one fundamental constant factor is safety and Hyundai is prepared to great enhance that side of the business breaking ground on a $50 million STIL building that will add a noteworthy expansion to its HATCI facility in Superior Township, MI, and benefit Hyundai buyers for generations to come.
STIL Aims To Improve Safety From All Angles
The new STIL building (Safety Testing & Investigation Lab) represents Hyundai’s enhanced focus on vehicle safety and aims to help the company learn from all stages of a vehicular crash (Before, During, and After) with the entire layout reflecting this with each piece of STIL focusing on a particular stage of the event.
That includes the 500-meter test track as well as a field crash investigation lab that will allow Hyundai engineers to observe real-world collisions in a controlled environment with a high voltage battery lab, forensics lab, and a Vehicle Dynamics Area allowing Hyundai to investigate and uncover the cause of a wide range of vehicular failures that might occur in a production model.
“We’ll have ability to move engineers across the different buildings and have different focuses,” Brian Latouf, chief safety officer of Hyundai Motor North America, said. “A big focus of it will be crash and electric vehicle safety, field investigations — taking issues from the field … tearing the cars down and trying to understand the root cause and also the remedy for robust improvements.”
The lab will also be a form of collaboration between Hyundai and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with the organization revealing that vehicle fatalities rose to a 16-year high in 2021 and came on the heels of a small rise that began towards the end of 2020 during the midst of the pandemic.
Safety Is New Pillar Of Vehicle Sales
The creation of this lab is also a symbol of just how important safety (versus quantity or performance) has become when it comes to the priorities that many consumers have in buying a new car. That includes the myriad of computer-operated driver assistance features that many drivers often take for granted and these same features have become an ingrained part of the broader expectations that many buyers have in their minds when cruising through the car lot.
In addition to the benefits that customers will see when the lab is completed, the creation of STIL will also help add 150 new jobs to Superior Township with State Representative Debbie Dingell claiming that the facility is the latest in a stream of EV-related projects that will be coming to Michigan and follows on recent announcements from Ford and GM. Look for the lab to become fully operational in the fall of 2023.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.