You're cruising the Autobahn at a healthy click when your dashboard lights up like a Christmas tree. So you slow down, and all is well once you get away from that annoying but powerful short-wave radio transmitter parked by the side of the road.

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is a hot issue for automakers who are struggling to keep on-board electronic systems from interfering with each other and to keep them immune from outside interference.

Audi AG opens its new EMC Centre in Ingolstadt, Germany, to examine the impact of interference on wiring harnesses, microprocessors, electric motors and digital instruments. With electronic components constantly on the rise in new vehicles, this testing is critical.

Ingolstadt has an enormous test chamber (above) with a dynamometer that can simulate driving speeds, with the engine running, up to 156 mph (250 km/h). Interference can be detected with regard to safety systems such as antilock brakes and air bags. The chamber is covered with foam absorption cones to prevent internal reflections.