GM donates crash test dummy to Smithsonian

General Motors donates 50H-1, a 15-year-old crash test dummy, to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

At the wheel: 50H-1, the crash test dummy donated by General Motors to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, is shown in one of his driving roles prior to a crash test at GM's Milford Proving Ground. General Motors

General Motors is donating a crash test dummy to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The dummy, better known as 50H-1, was in scores of full-vehicle crash tests and a host of special assignments over its 15 years of service.

The donation of 50H-1, an anthropomorphic test device, or ATD, is part of a museum initiative to collect materials related to technological advancements in the auto industry to improve safety features, GM said in a press release. The ATD will be part of a collection that also includes costumes and props from the Vince and Larry safety belt PSA campaign by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Ad Council.

"GM's leading role in the development of crash test devices over the decades makes it fitting that one of our crash veterans become part of the Smithsonian's collections," said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of safety policy. "With all that we have learned from him over the years, it almost seems unfair to call 50H-1 a dummy."

Representing a typical male adult in the 50th percentile for height and weight, 50H-1 is the type of the dummy most used in U.S. automotive crash testing.

GM is also donating an ATD leg and instruments used for measuring crash forces, and an energy-absorbing steering column from a 1967 Chevrolet.

About the author

Suzanne Ashe has been covering technology, gadgets, video games, and cars for several years. In addition to writing features and reviews for magazines and Web sites, she has contributed to daily newspapers.

 

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