Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) led the way in the development of a new side impact crash test dummy. Side Impact Dummy, generation II, size: small — otherwise known as SID-IIs — is the first crash test dummy developed for side impact testing that represents a small stature adult or adolescent.

SID-IIs will be used in conjunction with new voluntary industry out-of- position side air bag testing.

The SID-IIs dummy, which is 4′ 11″ and 107 lbs., is equipped with more than 140 channels for collecting data at crucial points in the “body” such as head, neck, chest, pelvis and legs. It is also equipped with unique load cells, which measure the force of impact applied to the dummy during the crash. This data determines the effectiveness of the airbags themselves. Lessons learned through these tests will enhance future air bag design.

“The bottom line is performance,” said Risa Scherer, Ford Technical Specialist. “We’ve designed the dummies to react like a human would under these conditions, and provide accurate data at the same time.”

Ford Motor Company took the lead in developing SID-IIs through the Occupant Safety Research Partnership (OSRP), an industry effort in USCAR, to consolidate differing standards for crash test dummies set by the United States government and the United States auto industry.

Development of the SID-IIs dummy began in 1994 after a need for a smaller stature dummy was determined. The size of the SID-IIs dummy was chosen as a global standard for side impact crashes, because a person of this size could likely sit in every seat of the vehicle: driver’s seat, passenger seats, and in the rear seats. A smaller-sized passenger in any seat is especially vulnerable to a side impact.

Data suggests that smaller stature individuals are usually seated closer to the point of airbag inflation, meaning that airbag forces are distributed differently and have different effects on smaller stature individuals than their larger counterparts.