Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Auto (and other) testing

Sitting in the dealership looking at the spiffy new cars in the showroom (we bought used), I got to thinking what a Wisconsin winter would do to the finish and all the shiny bits in the engine. (We get salt in the winter.)

Of course that leads to: manufacturers have to test their cars to see how they hold up against that kind of abuse. Which means somebody has to do it, and it is a skilled task to do it quickly, so there must be a car torture engineer.

Which sounds like a cool job: you get to try to trash cars for a living.

Firms do have testing labs and are happy to boast about them. GM has a facility for generating dust and rain, and some sites for winter testing. Volkswagen has some video of how you know your teenager drives when you're not looking.

"Reliability engineer": most of the time they'll be measuring tolerances on parts and making notes and trying to find out what broke, but some of them get to use fun gadgets like an electrostatic gun at HP.

That must make for some interesting party conversations.

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