The different auto brands around the world have been testing vehicles for safety and security since the early 1930s. It might not feel that way because the seatbelts didn’t come until later, and the crumple zones even later than that, but it’s true. In the early days, humans were used for the testing with cadavers that were placed in the seats before the vehicle was crashed to see the impact that would be placed on the body in position during the crash. It wasn’t until the 1940s when the first dummies were put in the seats to help with this testing. Now there is robotic testing.
Over the years, we’ve seen the crash test dummies transformed and developed to give us a much better idea of what a body could experience during a crash. By adding sensors, building dummies that reflected several different body sizes and shapes, and continuing to develop the technology that we want to experience in the cars we purchase, we’ve seen much better safety equipment added to the cars we drive on a daily basis but is this all that testing is used for in our vehicles? The team at Ford shows us how they test other areas of their cars in the video below.
A Robotic Butt
Yes, the team at Ford has built and uses a robotic butt that’s attached to a mechanical arm to test the seats it puts in the cars it builds. One of the robots is created to test the seats up to 25,000 times, which can take as much as three weeks to complete the test and allow the seats to go through a complete testing phase. This test alone represents nearly ten years of use to see how the seat will hold up over time so you know that even a used Ford will stand the test of time.
The butt that’s attached to the arm to show the use of the seat over time isn’t the only metal or robotic butt used. The team at Ford has another butt that can test and gauge the pressure a seat can take when it’s in the car. These tests are used to help Ford understand what they need when they develop and create the seats of their vehicles, which is an important part of what you want to enjoy in the vehicle. Because you spend all the time in the seats, these are an important feature for your comfort and for the durability of your vehicle.
Take a look at the video below and admire the testing and where it’s come over the years. Keep in mind, the early days used actual humans that had donated their bodies to research and development while now we have dummies and robots that can allow automotive companies to be able to use sensors and tests that help make every part of a car better for us to experience what we want on the roads. It may sound a bit strange, but the mechanical and robotic butts that Ford has developed make a huge difference in your ride comfort.