Though some people may think otherwise, General Motors ain’t no dummy. But they sure know a lot about them. GM began designing a crash test dummy for front impact testing in 1977 that 20 years later become an industry-wide standard. In 1997, Hybrid III crash test dummies, as they became known as, began collecting vital information that is exposed during a crash. Now, 35 years after its first dummy, GM is at it again developing another crash test dummy, but this time with rear impact testing in mind.
This new dummy, named BioRID, was built to study the effects of whiplash with some help from 24 vertebra simulators, something the Hybrid dummies never had. In turn, researchers can get a better idea of how to design head and neck restraints as the simulators give the dummy similar posture and neck movement that occur during a rear impact as its human counterparts. To supersede the Hybrid III dummy, the BioRID had to deliver consistent results that could be repeated time after time. GM’s crash test engineer, Barbara Bunn, used this dummy to develop and test how different versions of the dummy react to a rear-end collision.
This testing procedure was praised by industry experts, and now Bunn works with other engineers from Chrysler, Ford, and the manufacturer of BioRID. Bunn also partnered with safety engineers from Chrysler, Ford, Daimler, Porsche, and Volkswagen to better evaluate seat positioning and how it affects posture among other fields of interest.
BioRID dummies are placed in very similar chairs and go through low-speed rear impact testing repeatedly so information about how the upper and lower neck react can be collected. Here is where GM is working on making this new dummy a new global standard. After collecting the data from the new dummies, GM compares its results with those from automotive labs in Europe and passes it on to regulatory agencies for consideration of becoming a global standard. Crash test dummies of various sizes, both child and adult, are used and include sensors that are able to generate a status report 10,000 per second.
Think about that for a second.
Source: General Motors