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.