A car buyer may never see crash test dummies, but they are a critical part of what continues to advance car safety.
The latest crash test dummies are packed with sensors and new technology, and they can cost $1 million. Major automakers and suppliers can have fleets of dozens of dummies. New pacifiers are also made more biofidelic, meaning they are true to the actual shape and characteristics of the human body.
Humanetics, the world’s leading manufacturer of crash test dummies, has paid specific attention to making the latest generation female pacifier more faithful to the shape of real women. The female dummy most commonly used today, called the Hybrid III 5F, is in fact a shrunken version of the male Hybrid III dummy, with masculine proportions and weight distribution.
The latest generation of frontal impact dummies have a wider range of sensors, on-board computers and designs intended to better resemble today’s heavier humans. The average American has gained a few pounds since the early 1980s, when the previous generation was created.
Automakers and some vehicle testing groups around the world have already adopted the latest dummies, but some have pulled back, including the US government.
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