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Charlotte company proposes tire testing facility

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Camber Ridge LLC says it is forming a consortium of automotive and motorsports companies to create a first-of-its-kind tire testing facility in the Charlotte region.

Dr. James Cuttino, director of the North Carolina Motorsports and Automotive Research Center at UNC Charlotte and president of Camber Ridge, is taking a leave of absence from the university to lead the corporately-funded effort.

"High-grade research capabilities, backed by the biggest names in auto and tire manufacturing, will allow us to tackle tire safety, wear and energy efficiency issues faster and more cost effectively than if a company or university pursued it alone," says Cuttino. "This proposed testing facility will go well beyond what exists anywhere and directly address needs of automakers around the world."

Camber Ridge has invited representatives from all the major auto and tire manufacturing companies to participate in this groundbreaking initiative. The effort was created in response to a federal mandate that says all cars produced beginning in 2011 must have Electronic Stability Control (ESC) devices, which automatically apply brakes to one side of the car to prevent loss of control or rollover.

The exact location of the facility, which also will conduct research in collaboration with local universities, has yet to be decided. However, the timeline calls for it to be up and running by early 2012.

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