2015 Ford F-150 Seats Get Tested With Arizona Dirt
Robot Developed to Simulate Long-Term Use
Leather seats look rich and luxurious when new, but after some wear and tear, their once-pristine condition takes on a wrinkled, weathered appearance. Especially in the context of truck use, leather upholstery has to be able to hold up to hard use day in and day out. Of course, durability testing simulating a decade or more of real-world use requires some innovative approaches to compress the testing into the required timeframe to get the vehicles to market on schedule. To conduct durability testing on the 2015 Ford F-150, Dearborn employed real-world, dirt-caked, jean-clad derrieres, as well as robotic rear ends to make sure the upholstery stood up to durability benchmarks.
And since trucks are used for more than just going to soccer practice or the metropolitan opera, Ford engineers added especially gritty dirt from Arizona's Salt River Valley. Each human tester had to get in and out of the truck seat 10,000 times. But to accelerate the testing process, Ford created a robotic dummy in the form of a seated torso and thighs to keep the torture testing going day and night. Check out the video below for a snapshot of the testing process used on the ’15 F-150's seats.