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Ford's inflatable seatbelt – Click above for high-res image gallery

While we're all accustomed to seeing crash test vehicles packed with loveable dummies, the truth is that manufacturers can't always rely on high-tech mannequins to get the information they need. Sometimes, they have to resort to other testing procedures to research how new safety tech will impact the human body. And, as Jalopnik points out, those other procedures involve genuine human cadavers.

Now, don't start thinking that your favorite manufacturer has a covert team of grave robbers on the pay roll. According to the Jalop, automakers typically partner with universities that have the facilities for that kind of work. In every case, the family members of the deceased are informed of what kind of research their loved ones' body is being used for, and the cadaver is disposed of respectfully and properly after the trials.

So why use a body when we have all of these fancy computer models at our disposal? Because unfortunately, neither dummies nor our modeling systems have caught up with the complexities of the human body. Most recently, Ford used the deceased to test the impacts of its inflatable seatbelts on internal organs. Head over to Jalopnik to read the full piece.


  • Ford will debut the auto industry's first-ever production inflatable seat belts, which are designed to provide additional protection for rear-seat occupants, on the next-generation Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle next year. (11/05/09)
  • Ford will debut the auto industry's first-ever production inflatable seat belts, which are designed to provide additional protection for rear-seat occupants, on the next-generation Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle next year. (11/05/09)
  • Ford will debut the auto industry's first-ever production inflatable seat belts, which are designed to provide additional protection for rear-seat occupants, on the next-generation Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle next year. (11/05/09)

[Source: Jalopnik]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      How sad is it, some people get to drive crappy vehicles even on the other side.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Shine on you crazy Sea Urchin
        • 4 Years Ago
        Half a star again? Come one, i stole this joke from Jay Leno. He was making the very same joke about cadavers but it that case Hyundai was the company that was conducting the test.

        I guess you guys are Letterman fans, what do i have to do to get some respect around here, start sleeping with interns and stop being funny?




        • 4 Years Ago
        Kind of a funny initial comment.

        ....but still kinda creepy though....
        • 4 Years Ago
        How funny would it be if a Toyota killed the people used to test the Ford saftey items :D
      • 4 Years Ago
      this is something I would rather not know about what they do with cadavers, even though I would not mind donating my organs and body for good cause.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wonder if anyone of them said "I wouldn't be caught dead in a Ford" before donating to science.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The results? Dead on!
      • 4 Years Ago
      They must use dead people in their focus groups too. A live human would have complained about their stupid headrests.
      • 4 Years Ago
      seriously Ill be the human for the crash test pay up 20k and deal! For real.
      • 4 Years Ago
      No wonder those dummies are always crashing. They don't have eyes.
      • 4 Years Ago
      i bet if they used live / dead animals, ecomentalists would go mad
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hogs and chimpanzees were used decades ago, but they are too dissimilar to humans to provide data of much use. Thus, the development of instrumented dummies, occasionally calibrated by using human cadavers to determine how test readings correlate to injuries.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, they'd probably be okay with it if they just used all the dead animals from PETA.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ewwww...that's gonna leave a mark.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am so going to ammend my will. I hope I can get crashed in a Mustang.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Jalopniks got a picture, but Youtube has video. Check this out. I hope this works.

        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Bib, look by donating your body you are benefiting the society in so many ways. One sure wishes that his body was used for something as useful as crush testing and not some other silly research.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Nope didn't work. I tried to embed the video. I guess Autoblog didn't like it. I'll try a link:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLVU2mjwGOs

        Go ahead. You know you want to.
      • 4 Years Ago
      these inflatable belts are a good idea though
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