Does the tailgate open and close without any problems even after several years? And do the doors, the bonnet and the windows? These, the supposedly simplest functions on a car, are tested particularly intensively before the start of production. “It’s good that there are robots,” explains Dytrych. With a smile on his face he then asks, “Or would you like to open and close a door 100,000 times?” No person would want – or be able – to do this, particularly because the robot always does the job using the same forces following a programmed real-life pattern. This makes test results comparable.
Air outlets, glove compartment, handles, locks, everything that can be moved is thoroughly tested in the ŠKODA function tests. In order to save time, these tests often run parallel and not one after the other. This is visually impressive: the synchronised opening and closing of doors, tailgates and bonnets looks like a perfectly rehearsed ballet. “Despite the parallel operation, this test takes six weeks without any break,” explains Petr Kraus, Head of Car Safety. And if something goes wrong? “Should, for example, a hinge or component break during the test, our engineers have to come up with a solution – and the test starts again from the beginning.” The ‘masterpiece’ is the continuous run in the climate chamber. The aim: even at minus 40 degrees and plus 80 degrees Celsius, everything has to work properly. “There mustn’t be any miniature cracks or fractures, or rattling and squeaking noises,” says the expert.