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The life of a durability tester

3 years ago

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Dan Prosser | Ti co-founder


17 October 2021

The middle of the night, the middle of winter and the middle of your shift. Even at this hour, the sky inky black, the proving ground is abuzz with activity. Headlights flicker in your mirrors, some receding behind you while others close on you at speed. You have to stay alert, not only for the other vehicles around you but for the wildlife that might leap into your path. Hit a deer and it’ll be you scraping the mess off the road.

The prototype you’re working with tonight doesn’t have a functioning heater, but they’ve given you a woolly hat and some gloves. Not that they’ll do much against the frigid air blasting directly into your face – tonight’s cycle requires every single window to be kept fully open. They’ve also handed you an iPod. It means you can listen to something to keep yourself awake – falling asleep at the wheel is a very real occupational hazard. You know people who have lost their lives that way.

Yet again you accelerate to 15mph, stop on the steep incline, yank on the handbrake, let the car rock back, pull away, drive through a couple of corners, bring the car to a halt, heave the steering all the way over in one direction and then back the other way, flipping open the sunroof to bring that lap to a close. You scratch something onto the sheet of paper on your clipboard before setting off to do precisely the same thing again. And again.

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