Thatcham, the United Kingdom’s motor insurance repair research centre, has installed a £1 million Hyper G reverse acceleration sled, dedicated to the dynamic testing of motor vehicle seat and restraint designs. This new facility, claimed to be unique in Europe, will further advance Thatcham’s claimed ground-breaking whiplash research.

UK insurers have funded the reverse acceleration sled, to help reduce whiplash injuries which affect over 200,000 UK motorists and leave about 2,000 drivers permanently disabled every year.

The new testing equipment uses a computer for repeatable and easily revised testing to international standards, without the costly and time consuming set-up procedures required by the more conventional crash simulators.

Technology supporting the sled is designed to ensure users of the facility get the most from their hire time.

It includes instantaneous data download for immediate analysis and processing, test results available in a range of formats, variable sled fixtures for a variety of test configurations, unique and immediate control of crash pulse requirements, immediate download of high speed video and conversion to AVI.

“The Hyper G Sled will fast track our dynamic crash testing programme. By investing in this unique technology, the UK will be recognised as one of the world leaders in the search for more effective and safer seat design,” a Thatcham spokesman said.

Sled hire sessions have already been booked by organisations worldwide. The sled will also be used by the aerospace industry.