Friday, January 05, 2007

Crash Test Dummies

NEW GENERATION OF CRASH TEST DUMMIES

KEYWORDS: General Motors Safety Technology Automobiles

STORY SUMMARY:

To improve their smarts about auto safety improvements, engineers are turning towards dummies. Over the years, crash test dummies have become hi-tech safety test equipment that is helping safety engineers make vehicles safer.

Early crash test dummies were nothing more than sandbags in the shape of a human. The newest generation of crash test dummy costs about $200,000 and resembles a real person as closely as possible. The dummies are upholstered with soft vinyl to simulate skin and their steel framework behaves like a human in a crash.

State of the art electronics provide computer information that help engineers examine the dummy’s injuries and how to prevent them. Engineers then use the information to improve safety equipment for future cars. These safety devices are just one of the tools the automotive industry uses to keep vehicles as safe as possible.

SOT:
- John Melvin, biomechanics engineer
- Tom Gideon, GM Racing
- Mike Morris, On scene

B-roll:
- Older crash test dummies
- Sled test with crash test dummy
- Crash test dummies being worked on
- Taking off skin to show ribs
- Crash test dummy test
- Screen shots of data
- Pendulum hitting crash test dummy in chest
- Slow motion of same test

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