There is literally a material difference between today’s vehicles and those produced just a few years ago.
Innovative developments include the proliferation of lightweight high-strength steel (HSS) and advanced high-strength steel (AHSS). These materials contribute to improved fuel economy without compromising structural integrity, a key consideration when engineering vehicles for superior crashworthiness.
Air bags, once the exclusive domain of the dashboard and steering wheel, are now often found in seats and headliners.
Such improvements have generated ripple effects that extend beyond the scope of the customer experience. They raise questions for first responders (police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, etc.) whose mission often compels them to rescue accident victims who become trapped in vehicles after a crash.
What tools work best to cut through AHSS? Where are the pyrotechnic devices that trigger airbag deployment? To help first responders learn the answers to such questions, FCA recently welcomed to the Company’s storied proving grounds* in Chelsea, Michigan, 45 first responders from more than a dozen Midwestern emergency response organizations.
* Chelsea Proving Grounds is on 4,000 acres of land about 70 miles from FCA headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. FCA engineers and technical experts there have conducted more than 24,000 crash tests since the facility opened in 1954. The Company recently invested more than $30 million in the site.