CONCORD, NC—General Motors recently broke ground on its new Charlotte Technical Center, a 130,000-square-foot facility that will accelerate strategic knowledge transfer between the company's motorsports and production vehicle development. The new center will support racing efforts across all series in which GM competes. It is a $45 million investment for GM and is scheduled to open in early 2022.
The center will also feature advanced virtual tools, including three Driver-in-the-Loop simulators, aero development and other software-enabled vehicle modeling technology that will enable faster analysis and iteration. Its main purpose is to expand GM’s capacity to process, analyze and leverage vast amounts of data, allowing its racing and engineering teams to optimize designs earlier in the development process while simultaneously delivering greater first-time quality. The center’s location provides opportunities for GM to recruit top talent in the fields of software engineering, computational science, electrical engineering and other technical skill sets.
Because development technologies often make their way from the racing world to production vehicles, a combination of virtual simulation and physical testing will be used to meet the quick development time frames for motorsports teams. The testing methods used in racing, along with frequent competition, will provide valuable training experiences for GM production vehicle engineers.
Construction has begun on the new facility. A previously announced site was repurposed by GM Defense for production of the new Infantry Squad Vehicle, a light and agile troop carrier developed for the U.S. Army.
“After more than a year of challenges, we reevaluated our plans and found we could expand the footprint and scope for the Charlotte Technical Center to make it an even greater resource,” says Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance and Motorsports. “This new location and larger facility is a clean-sheet design, tailored for technology development and collaboration with our racing teams and technical partners.”