You’ve heard of YouTubers who drop phones and other pieces of tech to test their durability, but have you ever heard of a company actually donating their products for the sole purpose of destroying them?
This is exactly what Volvo has been doing recently. In order for Swedish rescue teams to get into the practice of saving lives, the car company has donated ten of their newest models so they can be picked up and dropped from a height of 30 meters.
You may be wondering, “Why not just use some old, banged-up cars?” The answer lies in modernity. Cars in scrapyards are often decades old and inferior in many ways. In order to keep extrication specialists up to date, newer model vehicles loaded with up to date materials, technology, and structure, were sorely needed. Aware of the need and eager to partner, Volvo donated a few new cars to be lifted up and dropped by crane.
Though Volvo has its own crash-test laboratory as do other vehicle manufacturers, they wanted to push things further and see just how much damage their vehicles could withstand. And what better way to discover the limits than a collaboration with the Swedish rescue extrication team.
The ten different cars were dropped multiple times to simulate different car crash scenarios an extrication team might have to possibly deal with in the future (big knock on wood there).
After each selected crash configuration, rescue teams start taking in information. For example, the time it takes to reach a victim’s seat, or the amount of force needed to pry open certain portions with hydraulic tools. Its also paramount to determine the best methods in which to approach or reach each part of the vehicle and in a timely manner. These are just a few key pieces of data which will be collated into a very detailed research report. This data will be made available to other rescue workers so they can fine tune their own methods for the future.
If it means lives will be saved, I guess dropping a brand new car 30 meters from the sky is pretty justified. That doesn’t mean it won’t hurt my heart seeing it crash, though.