Thursday, June 25, 2009
Ford Safety Labs
Last week, Joel and I got to visit Ford HQ for a personal tour of the crash test facilities. It was an awesome experience. We had no idea the lengths Ford technicians go through to keep us safe. We often find ourselves taking the auto makers for granted, never wondering what goes on behind the scenes, content to purchase a vehicle because it looks pretty, then vowing to never buy a Ford/Honda/Chevy/etc. ever again when something goes wrong. (Which is usually because of something we did, though we'd never admit that, right?)
I know there's no such thing as the perfect car. I know things go wrong: breaks fail (my '88 Ford Taurus), transmissions die (my '87 Ford Escort), and interiors fall to pieces (my '97 Saturn). But we live in a time of mass consumerism -- when something breaks, we don't fix it, we go out and buy a new one. And even if we do try to fix something, many of us choose to save some coin and use a bit of duct tape. We're also inherently stupid beings. Some of us get behind the wheel intoxicated. Some of us eat with both hands, talk on our cell phones, and even text while driving. Others think it's okay to place kids on our laps while we drive... *cough* Britney *cough*
There's not much auto makers can do about these things, but they can try to make their vehicles safe for everyone, not just those of us obeying traffic laws. And that's precisely what Ford is doing. Their restraint technology has gone from "reactive" to "predictive," where vehicle sensors can detect whether or not you're going to be in an accident. We thought that was pretty amazing, and look forward to seeing other auto makers follow suit.
If you'd like to read more about our trip to Ford HQ, check out my blog post on PluggedInParents.com: Ford Motor Company: A Leader in Safety
And take a look at all our photos from the tour: Crash Test Lab Photos