General Motors and other automakers have used crash test dummies in the design and engineering of new vehicle safety equipment for a long time. GM has announced that it using a new type of crash test dummy called BioRID to help understand how drivers and passengers are hurt in rear impact accidents. The new crash test dummy was designed by Chalmers University in Gothenburg, Sweden, specifically for seat restraint assessment.
The key feature that sets the new crash test dummy apart from others is a sophisticated spinal column that has 24 vertebrae simulators. Those 24 vertebrae simulators allow the dummy to sit naturally and demonstrate human-like neck movement in rear-end collisions. In the first step towards using BioRID as part of its crash testing regime, GM has to be able to deliver repeatable and reproducible test results.
GM crash test engineers have been developing and conducting tests to evaluate different BioRID dummies to produce consistent measurements when subjected to identical test procedures. GM test engineer Barbara Bunn has been working with engineers from Chrysler, Ford, and Humanetics Innovative Systems to evaluate the new test dummy. Humanetics is the builder of the BioRID dummy.
The testing procedure involved subjecting the new crash test dummies to low-speed rear impact simulations using nearly identical seats. Measurements from the test accidents were collected and compared to data collected during similar tests by other labs in Europe. The findings have been submitted to regulators around the world for consideration. The goal is to get the BioRID dummy approved for testing to help make automobiles safer.