On a recent trip to Disney World, we were impressed with Epcot’s Test Track, a General Motors-sponsored ride. Not only is it thrilling, it is highly educational, introducing the concepts of automotive electromagnetic compatibility, safety, and environmental simulation to the general public.
Like all the best Disney rides, the experience begins in the pre-ride waiting area, where the line snakes through a model of an EMC chamber.
During the ride, the 6-seat vehicle undergoes the safety and quality tests that General Motors performs on every prototype it manufactures.
Most impressive is the demonstration of automotive environmental simulation testing. The car passes through an area that blasts passengers first with heat lamps, then with cold guns, for a reported 100 degree variation. Then robotic arms perform a corrosion test using misted salt water.
The ride spans nearly a mile and lasts 5 minutes, but it seemed much shorter. We went straight from the ride’s exit to its entrance, to do it all over again.