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First pedestrian crash lab for Australia

Impact: A still from impact testing showing a simulated pedestrian head hitting a car windscreen.

Australia’s first automotive pedestrian impact test facility opens in Adelaide

11 Mar 2011

VULNERABLE road users will be the major beneficiaries of Australia’s first pedestrian impact test facility, which opened in Adelaide today.

Purpose-built in Kent Town for the University of Adelaide, the Centre for Automotive Safety Research’s new vehicle safety laboratory will focus specifically on pedestrian crash testing and is the only facility of its kind in Australia.

It was formally opened today by state by the South Australian road safety minister Tom Kenyon and will be the official testing facility for the pedestrian component of the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

ANCAP chair Lauchlan McIntosh said the new crash lab will improve the independent vehicle safety body’s internationally recognised collision testing regime in the interests of all road users, but especially pedestrians and other vulnerable groups.

“Pedestrian testing is a major part of ANCAP’s crash testing process, and these new CASR facilities will provide a better amenity for the pedestrian tests which form a part of the overall ANCAP safety rating,” he said.

“ANCAP has worked closely with CASR for some years now in testing and providing vehicle safety ratings, and these new premises will only strengthen our relationship.”

CASR director Professor Mary Lydon said pedestrians make up a significant proportion of all road casualties, accounting for 16.5 per cent of all fatalities and 8.5 per cent of all serious injuries on Australian roads.

“This testing will assist the design of more pedestrian-friendly vehicles,” she said. “It puts the spotlight on protection offered to pedestrians by different vehicle structures and means we can measure improvements and differences in safety.”

CASR is a globally recognised specialist in road safety research and carries out multi-disciplinary investigation into all aspects of road safety, with the aim of reducing the human and social costs of road trauma.

Its laboratory testing meets global and European regulations, directives and protocols and includes bull-bar testing and development, impact testing of energy absorbing materials, vehicle interior impact testing, crash reconstruction, high-speed film capture and high-resolution data acquisition.

“CASR appreciates the support provided by ANCAP in setting up the new laboratory and is looking forward to continuing to support ANCAP in its excellent work,” said CASR Reference Board chair Tom Phillips.

Mr Kenyon used today’s laboratory opening to point out the SA state government has provided substantial investment in CASR over a number of years.

“The new facilities will allow CASR to expand the range of testing carried out and to supervise post-graduate students in the vehicle testing area,” he said.

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