Crash Dummies, Taking the Hard Knocks For All of Us

In the quest to create safer cars, researchers are subjecting high-tech humanoids to everything from head-on collisions to nasty sideswipes. One major center for this state-of-the-art investigation of passenger safety is GM's Milford Proving Grounds, near Detroit. GM alone perpetrates 500 collisions per year here, studying every kind of smash-up — front, rear and now, in a new focus, side impact crashes. The dummies instrumented with sophisticated sensors, are allowing scientific to peer into the anatomy of an accident — and engineer life-saving designs and equipment for the vehicles of the future.

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