Looking like a fresh version of “Buster” from the hit TV show Mythbusters, Honda’s third generation pedestrian dummy, POLAR III, is the latest tool in the company's quest to enhance safety testing procedures on its vehicles in order to reduce upper leg and lower back injuries which are common in collisions between pedestrians and four wheel drive vehicles and mini-vans.
Honda commenced research into the impact of accidents on pedestrians in 1998 when it became the first in the world to develop a pedestrian crash test dummy that reproduced the human body’s kinematics during vehicle-to-pedestrian collisions. The project identified the parts of the vehicle that caused the most injuries and developed new safety technologies to reduce pedestrian head injuries during a collision. Two years later, the second generation pedestrian dummy, POLAR II, was released to further improve understanding of the human body’s kinematics in an accident.
According to Honda, the faithful reproduction of lower back and upper legs has been further improved in the new dummy, enabling the evaluation of bone fractures in these areas in addition to the existing ability to evaluate injuries to knee ligaments and fractures to lower leg bones.