Research into hydroplaning currently uses a test track equipped with a transparent window embedded in the ground. The area above is flooded and a tire rolling over the window is observed with a high-speed camera. Investigators in France have developed a more sophisticated approach involving fluorescent seeding particles to visualize the flow and used a sheet of laser light to illuminate the area. They discuss their work in Physics of Fluids.
Sandia National Laboratories and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. have developed a virtual means of showing a tire’s performance before the first prototypes are ever built. Computer simulations test a virtual tire on a virtual test machine that simulates actual road conditions.