There’s no telling who will buy a vehicle, which is why carmakers value getting as many tests in as possible before bringing a product to market. People used to be needed for this testing process, but new robots can speed up the process exponentially. All they require is their mechanical butts.
Testing vehicle with human equivalents has gone on since the 1930s, when human cadavers were needed. By the late 1940s scientists were beginning to make “Sierra Sam” and crash dummies meant to simulate the entire body. Today, with thousands of sittings per day, the simulated butt puts in serious work. That push is nothing new at Ford, which isn’t afraid to redesign its most popular products.