Seoul, Korea / Neu-Isenburg, Germany, 02 June 2022 – On 25 May 2022, premium tyre manufacturer Hankook has opened Hankook Technoring. The new proving ground in Taean, South Korea, is the largest in Asia with an area of 1.26 million square metres and will serve as a state-of-the-art research and development facility for Hankook’s pioneering products.
The site comprises 13 test tracks and allows for thorough testing of all product categories, including tyres for electric vehicles and supercars. The test tracks are designed for all types of vehicles – from supercars to trucks and buses. The test site also has a control tower, office buildings, workshops, filling stations and charging stations for electric vehicles. The 37.1-metre-high control tower records the test progress through integrated monitoring systems for all test areas and climate conditions.
With the completion of the Hankook Technoring, the company has created a complete research and development infrastructure to further drive its innovation capability. This infrastructure is designed to create synergies with existing facilities, which include the global headquarters, Hankook Technoplex (Seoul, Korea). In addition, the manufacturer also has its own test site, the Technotrac in the north of Finland for testing on snow and ice, as well as other regional R&D centres in Germany and in the USA. Original technologies are developed and secured at the Hankook Technodome, the central R&D centre outfitted with the latest equipment. The extended R&D infrastructure is what Hankook will use to further strengthen its position in the automotive industry in the future. Hankook Technoring will serve as an important basis for further technical developments and as a place of origin for innovations in the tyre sector. The test site is relevant to both future developments in e-mobility and autonomous vehicles in the replacement sector, and, with the necessary test capacities, will meet the stringent and diverse requirements of premium car manufacturers.
With the collected data from current tests at the Hankook Technoring, Hankook intends to accelerate its digital transformation as well. The company is working on a Big Data analysis platform to develop an artificial-intelligence-based “Virtual Optimisation Technology”. In the future, Hankook also wants to create a database with the evaluation data of tyres and vehicles that have been tested under the toughest conditions. With this database, Hankook is expanding the technology around what is referred to as the "digital twin". This digital testing of tires is an important addition to track and equipment testing and makes it possible to shorten the development time of a tire. Hankook thus brings together “real-life testing” for the mobility of the future with the use of virtual testing possibilities.
In addition, Hankook plans to actively expand its cooperation with mobility companies, research and educational institutions and start-ups. By utilising the state-of-the-art infrastructure of Hankook Technoring, cooperative work can continue to improve technologies. In this way, the company will not only further expand its research and development capabilities, but also contribute to the advancement of global mobility technology.
“Tyres are the only medium in a vehicle that comes into contact with the road surface. They are the key to maximising vehicle performance, safety, high fuel efficiency and ride comfort. To ensure the best product quality in all conditions, testing on a wide variety of tracks is of great importance,” says Hyunbum Cho, Chairman and CEO of Hankook & Company.