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Video: GM’s Milford Proving Ground Nears 90-Year Anniversary

August 04, 2014

<p><strong><em>In the early 1980s, GM&rsquo;s safety team developed several dummies including the Hybrid III, which became the universal standard for frontal crash testing and remains so today across the globe. Photo courtesy of General Motors.</em></strong></p>

VIDEO: 90 Years of Safety Testing at GM's Milford Proving Ground

When the General Motors Milford Proving Ground opened in 1924 – 90 years ago this October – engineers lacked advanced tools and technology for safety testing. Judging from the video above, some might say the only crash test dummies back then were human.

Engineers today, of course, keep their distance during crash tests. No more riding the running boards until seconds before impact. Today, test vehicles have heavily instrumented anthropomorphic test devices – dummies – that capture the data for which engineers once risked their lives.

“The technology used today to research vehicles is far superior to the past, but the intention stays the same -- put vehicles to the test in the name of safety,” said Jack Jensen, the GM engineering group manager for the dummy lab and a GM Technical Fellow. “We have more sophisticated dummies, computers to monitor crashes and new facilities to observe different types of potential hazards.”

To watch a video about the facility, click on the photo or link under the headline.

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Henry Paetzel was the manager of automotive services at  General Mills until he retired from the company in 2007.

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