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New dummy enhances active safety

12 August 2009

Volvo Cars has developed a new crash-test dummy to test its cars' active safety systems. The latest addition to the crash-test dummy family is Bob.

He is a man of medium height and his work differs somewhat from that of the rest of the dummies in the family: Bob never gets to sit in a car during a collision. Instead, he's the one who risks being run over.

Bob may suddenly appear from behind a parked car or around a corner. This is because the dummy is suspended from a crane that can propel him into the driver's field of vision.

This allows researchers to simulate realistic and frequently occurring traffic scenarios.

Bob's erratic behaviour poses a challenge to Volvo's most recent active safety system, which features both radar and cameras. The new technology has the task of first registering pedestrians who suddenly dart into the car's path, then braking the vehicle if the driver does not respond in time.

Bob has been designed to resemble the widest range of pedestrian-like subjects to put the car's safety systems to the test.

The aim is to reduce or entirely avoid collisions with pedestrians.

"We have a lot of faith in Bob when it comes to the development of our active safety systems, and it would have been even more exciting to be able to develop a dummy that could move by itself. Bob is also available in a child dummy, Bob Junior, and will be followed by a female version, all so as to help our researchers develop functions for collision avoidance," says Anders Eugensson, Safety expert at Volvo Cars

Volvo's new crach test dummy, Bob
Volvo's new crash test dummy, Bob

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