December 7, 2000 Press Release

MELBOURNE, Australia—Beginning Dec. 1, the “land down under” has been playing host to the debut of the latest in crash test dummy technology.

The WorldSID (World Side Impact Dummy) Task Group, a team of automotive safety experts from around the world, are putting a new side impact dummy through a series of crash tests at the WorldSID-Prototype Demonstration Workshop in Melbourne, Australia. The Australian Department of Transport and Regional Services is hosting the Workshop at the Ford Motor Company Training and Development Center.  The testing is being conducted at Autoliv Australia's facility.  According to the WorldSID North American region chair, Risa Scherer, this dummy is intended to become the universal standard for side impact vehicle crash tests.

“We’ve recognized that there are two issues the entire world is dealing with. First of all, people are basically the same worldwide and secondly, these crash test procedures are supposed to simulate identical events,” she said.

European region chair, Dominique Cesari, of INRETS-France stressed the importance of side impact crash research.

“Car safety is a key issue worldwide, and side impact accidents, even if they are less frequent than frontal ones, are more severe and providing protection is more difficult due to the limited space to control occupant motion in side impacts,” he said.

Scherer, who works for Ford Motor Company, also said that the WorldSID dummy is intended to replace the three different dummies being used around the world for side impact tests.  The biofidelity (a measure of how well it's behavior resembles that of a living human) of the dummy will be an improvement over all existing dummies.

“This dummy is more humanlike. Our goal is that every component will be awarded a 'good' to 'excellent' biofidelity rating, on the scale developed by ISO (International Organization for Standardization)” Scherer said.

The other dummies being used as standard in today’s crash tests are considered 'marginal', at best, by this ISO rating.

Cesari agreed that the dummy’s biofidelity is key. “The assessment of the protection and the efficiency of possible technical solutions greatly depend on the biofidelity of the dummy used in crash tests and its ability to measure relevant injury criteria,” he said.

Asia/Pacific region chair, Takahiko Uchimura of Nissan, explained that the "WorldSID is designed to be utilized not only as a device for regulatory vehicle certification tests, but also for research testing.  We believe that the introduction of the WorldSID will provide new research and development opportunities to enhance passive safety performance of motor vehicles."

Testing began with a crash test of a Ford Falcon on Dec. 1. It will be followed by sled testing on Dec. 5 and compatibility testing—LandRover Freelander Sport Utility Vehicle into a Ford Falcon—Dec. 8.

Following this debut of the WorldSID, the prototype dummy will then be tested and evaluated by Transport Canada, the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the European Commission. These tests will include biofidelity evaluations to determine how well the WorldSID simulates human responses in a crash test.  The data will then be evaluated together by worldwide auto manufacturers, researchers, and governments.

Scherer said the project is on target and she anticipates having production dummies available the first quarter of 2004.  It is intended that the WorldSID will be used in a new regulatory side impact test procedure being developed under the auspices of the International Harmonised Research Activities (IHRA), which is made up of representatives from governments worldwide.

Kazuhito Asakawa, secretariat of the Asia/Pacific region states, "The WorldSID project is an excellent example of how worldwide harmonization can be achieved. And can be applied toward other regulations."

The WorldSID project is unique because it is developing a single, harmonized global device - literally from a blank sheet of paper – rather than attempting to harmonize existing but differing test devices from the participating regions of the world.

WorldSID Program Manager, Marc Beusenberg of Canada, said the international cooperation involved in this project has been challenging, yet an incredible success.

“In my view, a very exciting part of this development is the fact that this worldwide undertaking did not result in significant technical compromises. At the Melbourne workshop, we are demonstrating that significant progress has been made; enough to convince the world that a new, advanced and harmonized side impact crash test dummy is real,” he said.

Project sponsors include the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), the Association des Constructeurs Europeans d'Automobiles (ACEA - the European automobile manufacturers association), the European Commission, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM), and the Occupant Safety Research Partnership (OSRP) of the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR).

A team of international contractors created the WorldSID dummy—each of the dummy’s 10 body components was constructed separately.  The dummy’s head, neck and pelvis were designed and created by a consortium of European companies from the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom. Similarly, several contractors from the United States designed the thorax, lumbar spine, shoulder, arms, legs, instrumentation and dedicated data acquisition system.

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