The continuing search for safer automobiles has led to the development of more up-to date techniques for testing and evaluating body construction.
MLS & zoom of car in machine
CU - pillar, glass break
Car rolls down hill
Upside down car drops
Lo angle - car machine
CU - arrow moves down
TRANSCRIPT: BURKE: "The controlled nature of this kind of test makes it possible for us to more accurately measure the forces required to collapse a car roof and its supports, and come up with new designs that will help protect passengers in a rollover type of accident."
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Background: The continuing search for safer automobiles has led to the development of more up-to date techniques for testing and evaluating body construction. For example, American Motors Corporation, is using a new scientific device for assessing roll over damage to various roof structures.
At American Motors in Detroit, an unusual test device systematically crushed car roofs in the interest of safety.
The machine, installed in the company's new safety research lab, is far more sophisticated than methods used in the past to evaluate the effects of a roll over accident.
Early tests -- made obsolete by the machine -- including turning a car over and allowing it to roll down a hillside, or dropping an inverted vehicle onto a test bed, with high-speed cameras recording the action.
Today, American Motors engineers are using this roof crush machine, and precise instrumentation, to gain more reliable test data. A heavy steel plate is lowered under pressure until the roof gives way.
Research engineer Carl Burke explains the advantage of this technique: