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SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Dec. 17, 2010 – An R&D group of the United States Council for Automotive Research LLC (USCAR), the collaborative automotive technology organization of Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company, recently designed and fabricated a test fixture and procedures to evaluate the impact devices and dummy components to be used for pedestrian-related testing.

The Occupant Safety Research Partnership (OSRP) Pedestrian Working Group, formed in 2008, has focused its initial efforts on developing a common vehicle front-end test fixture to use in measuring pedestrian-dummy leg-impact response data. The fixture will initially be used to evaluate the performance variability of pedestrian lower leg impact test devices that could become the standardized test devices in future testing.

“This work will give us a better understanding of the Transportation Research Laboratories’ pedestrian impact testing devices (dummy legs) and how they function from a generic perspective,” said Sukhi Bilkhu, chair, OSRP Pedestrian Working Group and Chrysler Group technical fellow in Passive Safety. “These devices have very narrow prescribed windows of operation in terms of environmental factors – temperature and humidity, in particular. We’d like to better understand if the prescribed windows are needed so that we could possibly widen that corridor in order to do more effective testing.”

Once the group’s studies to determine the variability of the pedestrian lower leg test devices are complete, the fixture will be used to simulate vehicle-to-pedestrian impact. Because the fixture is adjustable, the impact points can be changed to evaluate various vehicle front-end configurations and enable tests of new product variations that can potentially optimize vehicle designs for improved pedestrian safety.

“It’s not just the safety of the vehicle passengers that concerns us. We’re also concerned about the safety of those outside the vehicle,” Bilkhu said. “Using the fixture instead of prototype vehicles will enable more effective testing for optimization of vehicle designs.”

The OSRP, which began in 1992, has been credited with: developing a second-generation small-size side-impact dummy, the SID-IIs; initiating the development of the World Side-Impact Dummy (WorldSID); and working with the WorldSID tri-chair group to complete the development of the WorldSID. The WorldSID is expected to be the global standard for side-impact crash safety in vehicles worldwide.

Founded in 1992, USCAR is the collaborative automotive technology organization for Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company. The goal of USCAR is to further strengthen the technology base of the domestic auto industry through cooperative research and development.

For more information, visit USCAR’s Web site at www.uscar.org.

Dec. 17, 2010                                                                                ###

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