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Fuel Economy Improved By Wind Tunnel Testing, Engineer Explains (VIDEO)

First Posted: 08/20/11 06:33 PM ET Updated: 10/20/11 06:12 AM ET

In the video below, an engineer at the General Motors Tech Center in Michigan explains how wind tunnel testing helps improve aerodynamics and fuel economy in GM cars.

Speaking with Translogic, GM Aerodynamic Development Engineer Suzy Cody says she works with the automotive designers to make subtle changes to the exterior of future vehicles, to make them "more aerodynamically efficient and therefore improve fuel economy.”

Cody explains that she and other engineers first test miniature models in the wind tunnel before building full scale models of the cars. By using rapid prototyping, they are able to more quickly fabricate parts and identify the most aerodynamic designs.

Check out the video for a glimpse of the GM En-V, an electric vehicle built using rapid prototyped parts.

In June, The Canadian Press reported that GM opened one of the world's largest wind tunnels at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, near Toronto.

HuffPost blogger Phyllis Cuttino writes that polls show an overwhelming majority of Americans support raising vehicle fuel standards. Last month, President Obama announced plans to raise minimum fuel economy standards for cars and also for large vehicles.

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Filed by James Gerken  |