On-Road Test Surfaces

All on-road test surfaces are subjected to regular machine sweeping to remove debris and maintain consistent road conditions. We also use reverse osmosis water on wet testing surfaces to ensure consistent conditions that closely match the properties of rainwater. The water depth on wet test surfaces can be customized between one and five millimeters, with some surfaces accommodating up to seven millimeters of water.


The 1.9-mile oval track is primarily two lanes, with a four-lane section for specialized testing. The oval has seven-degree banked turns which are navigable at speeds up to fifty miles per hour. This surface is ideal for subjective steering, subjective and objective noise, and emergency lane change testing.

Wet & Dry Braking Lanes

The facility has two wet braking test areas, with higher and lower mu, and a dry braking section. We also offer two longitudinal hydroplane troughs with depths of seven and thirteen millimeters.

Pass-By Noise Pad

Located directly off of our 1.9-mile oval track is our pass-by noise pad. This test lane is equipped with pass-by noise testing equipment and compliant with ISO 10844 pass-by noise specifications. The pass-by noise pad is excellent for both ECE 117 and other noise standards.

Ride & Noise Road

The two-lane ride and noise road was designed to include many of the everyday bumps, dips, and hazards that drivers commonly encounter in transit. This includes half- and one-inch impact cleats, reflectors, half-inch-deep square potholes, quarter-inch rounded bumps, and uneven, chipseal, and smooth road surfaces. This testing area is ideal for objective ride and subjective ride and noise testing.

Dry Vehicle Dynamics Area (VDA) & Road Course

The dry VDA, which measures 700 by 500 feet, is part of a one-mile road course. This test area is ideal for subjective limit handling, lap time, and skip pad testing and compatible with objective steering robots.

Wet Vehicle Dynamics Area (VDA)

The wet VDA is a flooded asphalt pad that measures 800 by 800 feet, with a one-degree southeast-to-northwest slope. The VDA has a wet handling course with water depths ranging from 1.75 to 2.25 millimeters, a curved hydroplane lane with a radius of 100 meters, and a ride-and-drive course. The wet VDA is excellent for subjective wet handling and lap time tests.

Off-Road Test Surfaces

We use tractors, backhoes, and motor graders to maintain our off-road surfaces and ensure  consistency of mud test areas.

Mud Traction

The mud lane is 450 feet long and eight inches deep, making it ideal for evaluating performance in muddy conditions. This test area is ideal for subjective traction and steering response and objective acceleration testing.

Hill Climb

The hill climb test area has a thirty-degree slope that can be used for both dry and wet testing, thanks to sprinklers installed at the top of the slope. The slope has three surfaces: polished concrete, embedded rock, and rough concrete. This testing area is ideal for durability and subjective traction testing.

Silt Road Course & Vehicle Dynamics Area (VDA)

The silt testing area includes an open VDA and a handling course that measures one-third of a mile long, all groomed with loose silt. The area is often used for subjective handling and traction testing, along with objective lap timing.

Boulder Crawl & Rock Garden

The 115-foot boulder crawl area is constructed with oversized limestone boulders. The rock garden offers three muddy rock climb routes of varying difficulty. Both test areas are ideal for subjective traction testing.

Trail Handling

The trail handling course covers over four miles of hard-packed dirt, rock, sand, and gravel. Course features include banked curves, hill climbs, and other obstacles.

Gravel Bins

Both of the gravel bins are filled with pea gravel and groomed flat for subjective static traction testing.

Cut & Chip Road

The cut and chip road is half a mile long and groomed with four inches of large cut-and-chip rock, with most individual rock pieces larger than a U.S. quarter. This surface is often used for durability testing.
To learn more about our test surfaces and discuss the possibility of scheduling on-site testing, contact Allison Ofenstein.
Show Policy


Treadwell Research Park Facility Guide

Latest Resources

See all resources