Automotive Testing Incorporated and Heitz Automotive Testing (formerly doing business as Heitz Chassis Lab) originated as separate corporations which were complementary in function. Automotive Testing (ATI) provided fully-instrumented road, track, and proving grounds measurement of vehicle behavior, while the Chassis Lab provided laboratory measurement of all the individual vehicle parameters (except tires) involved in prediction of vehicle behavior by mathematical simulation models and in evaluation of vehicles against theoretically-defined criteria. Instrumentation, data acquisition hardware, and data processing software used by the two corporations are completely compatible.
In the period of 1990-1996 ATI designed a "Programmable Steering Machine" to automate its extensive rollover testing. In 1998 ATI used the new steering machine to develop a reversed-steer rollover protocol with roll rate feedback. This protocol uses a roll rate signal input to trigger steer reversal at or near a peak roll angle (as identified by roll rate passing through or near zero). This testing concept was adopted by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for its NCAP fishhook test, using the production Sprint 3 machine. All NHTSA NCAP contractors use the Sprint 3, either their own or one loaned to them by NHTSA.
Sprint 3 was also used in development of Electronic Stability Control Motor Vehicle Safety Standard FMVSS 126. Some of the experimental work was carried out by NHTSA, and some by The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers using a Sprint 3 loaned by Heitz. To be sure of meeting the test requirements, all NHTSA contractors must use the Sprint 3 machine in MVSS 126 testing.
The HeitzSprint 3 steering machine soon became the de facto standard for rollover and ESC testing.
In 2009, ATI Inc and Heitz Inc. were combined into Heitz Automotive Testing LLC, with ATI as the Vehicle Test Division and Heitz as the Manufacturing Division.
In 2013, Heitz intoduces the Heitz System 4, which includes Steering, Brake, and Throttle servos which can operate independently or in combination, and a new open center steering machine which offers unobstructed airbag deployment.
The Heitz Manufacturing Division is responsible for manufacture, sales, calibration, repair of Sprint 3 and System 4 machines and equipment.