Why Some Crash Test Dummies Cost More Than $1 Million

Joe Harker

Published 
| Last updated 

Why Some Crash Test Dummies Cost More Than $1 Million

Featured Image Credit: Business Insider

The most expensive crash test dummies out there can cost you more than $1 million, which seems a lot for something which gets smashed about so much.

When testing the impact of a car crash you might assume, and so would I, that the most expensive thing in the collision would be the cars.

Finely engineered chunks of metal, glass and circuitry that they are, it's hard to believe that you might end up spending more on the crash test dummies than the cars you're actually crashing.

However, according to Insider, that's exactly what would happen with some crash test dummies which are so sophisticated, they set you back more than $1 million.

The outlet toured the Humanetics factory, the largest manufacturer of crash test dummies in the world, to find that modern crash test dummies are a technological marvel.

The modern crash test dummies are incredibly sophisticated. Credit: Alamy
The modern crash test dummies are incredibly sophisticated. Credit: Alamy

Humanetics dummies are used for testing cars, planes and even space vessels to make sure that when a human being finally gets inside they aren't going to die a horrible, painful death thanks to some safety oversight.

First thing to learn is that the world isn't asking for staggering amounts of crash test dummies - there's only about 300 of the things sold each year.

It makes sense, as they have to be built to last and can have a lifespan of up to 30 years where they get used in thousands of collisions to determine what the impact on the human body would be.

Something like that isn't going to break suddenly and can put up with a lot of punishment, so once a testing centre has as many as they need they probably won't be putting in any orders for a while.

It also takes about five months to make the most advanced models, which are very sophisticated and made up of more than 30,000 parts.

While its main job is getting smashed around in car crashes, the modern crash test dummy needs to be as advanced as possible so it can transmit as much data on the effects a crash would have on the human body as possible.

Beneath that dummy lies a skeleton of steel and so many sensors to work out what's impacting where and what damage that would do.

While older dummies needed to be plugged in to work properly, the modern ones that you'd have to fork over $1 million or more for can remotely transmit this crash test data.

There are male and female versions of the dummies so the experts can work out if a certain type of vehicle is particularly dangerous to men or women.

Some crash test dummies cost more than $1 million as they're made of 30,000 parts, take months to make and send out so much data. Credit: Alamy
Some crash test dummies cost more than $1 million as they're made of 30,000 parts, take months to make and send out so much data. Credit: Alamy

They've also undergone some changes over the years, adapting their shape as the average size of humans has changed.

That's the polite way of saying we got fatter, so the dummies have to as well in order to properly test what an average human would suffer.

However, the future may be bleak for crash test dummies as it's possible that more and more testing will be done virtually rather than the expensive and destructive process of crash testing these days.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Topics: Technology, Cars

Joe Harker
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Film & TV

New Tim Burton Wednesday series on Netflix has broken Addams Family record

3 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Cardi B threatened with legal action over Marge Simpson Halloween costume

6 hours ago