Talking Crash Test Dummies!

December 4th, 2010 by

It’s no wonder why the 2011 Buick Regal has become a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety!  It had smart dummies that could talk.  This is a new advancement in crash test dummy testing that ultimately help save lives everyday.

At General Motors’ Anthropomorphic Test Device (ATD) lab, new hyper-tech dummies talk in hyper-speed, recording and transmitting crash data 10,000 times a second. Two-hundred crash test dummies of all shapes and sizes are wired with 70-80 sensors each that tell safety engineers exactly how much and what kind of forces they endure during crash tests. The 2011 Buick Regal benefits directly from this capability.

Engineers analyze data from physical crash tests and computer simulations to understand how a vehicle, its safety systems and occupants respond during a crash.  Armed with that data, engineers continuously look for opportunities to enhance the safety of Buick cars and crossovers.

To better reflect reality, the dummies representing men and women range in size from what would be a large adult to a small toddler. The price tag for the most sophisticated dummy can approach $500,000.

The ATD lab is run by GM safety engineer and Technical Fellow Jack Jensen.  “We design these test dummies so that they mimic real life,” he says. “Data from the dummies helps us predict the risk of injury in a real crash. The more realistic the dummy, the more accurate the test results.”

The efforts of Jensen and numerous safety engineers helped the 2011 Buick Regal become a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. The award recognizes what the Institute considers “Good” ratings in front, side and rollover crash tests and evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear crashes.  In addition, winning vehicles must offer electronic stability control, which Buick calls StabiliTrak. [Source: GM]

Now that’s something to talk about! Thoughts?

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