Courses and Surfaces

The Smithers Winter Test Center features a wide variety of test courses and surface types over 800 acres in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and creates custom test services for specific evaluations.

Our courses and surfaces are maintained around the clock by more than 40 experienced employees. In addition to standard surfaces, our on-site experts have decades of experience in creating custom testing courses and surfaces.

Split Coefficient Courses

Smithers maintains a number of split coefficient surfaces in different configurations that enable customers to evaluate braking, powertrain, and traction control systems.

Course Type



10%, 15%, and 20% ice/asphalt split mµ inclines for testing traction control components


300', 600', and 1600' diameter circles with ice inner lanes and packed snow outer lanes


Alternating mµ and split mµ surfaces for evaluating brakes and drivetrain components

Custom Potential for custom setups for handling and autonomous vehicle system evaluations

Other Surfaces

The Center offers over 30 different testing surfaces and areas, including:

  • Three handling courses
  • Packed snow handling and test lanes
  • Ice pads
  • 10%, 15%, and 20% grade ramps
  • 3% and 6% slopes

Custom Surfaces

The SWTC staff is proficient at creating and maintaining surfaces that meet specific client requirements, including:

  • Hill climbs
  • Snow handling courses
  • Ice pads
  • Snow fields
  • Circle snow / ice tracks
  • Custom track setups to accommodate autonomous car testing

Back to Winter Proving Grounds Overview 

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