steve walking moving dummy mannequin toyota crash test safety pedestrian person pre-collision system

Steve the walking dummy is changing pedestrian crash testing

Steve may seem like just any other crash test dummy, but he’s actually taking steps to change the way pedestrian crash testing is done – literally. Steve’s job is to stand in for a pedestrian crossing the street in crash tests for pedestrian pre-collision systems. While we don’t envy him for that job, we’ve gotta say, he’s able to create some pretty impressive testing situations. Steve is able to mimic different walking speeds allowing a variety of different situations to be tested. Steve isn’t the only crash test dummy of his kind, the walking mannequins are made in both adult and child sizes so everyone can be accounted for in the tests. To check out Steve and this technology in action, see the video below!

Developing the technology for Steve the crash test dummy

As we all know, Toyota is all about safety on the road. In order to develop the unique technology that Steve runs on, Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center partnered with Indiana University-Purdue University and Ohio State University. To get data for all of the crash test dummies, researchers took the measurements of volunteers of all shapes, sizes and ages. After putting all of this work into development, it’s finally starting to pay off and the technology is revolutionizing the future of safety testing.

The technology  Steve is helping develop is making the roads safer not only for drivers, but pedestrians as well. Newer Toyota models feature a pre-collision system that help slow down or stop a vehicle, depending on its speed, when it is in danger of hitting something in front of it. The difficult part of designing Steve was creating a mannequin that can mimic the movements and weight of a person walking that can also withstand being struck by a vehicle without being damaged or damaging the car. Another challenge researchers faced was creating a “skin” for Steve that would be picked up by the vehicle’s radar and camera sensor. A tall order, but Steve’s the result of all of the researchers’ hard work.

How pedestrian pre-collision systems work

Available in select Toyota models, pedestrian pre-collision systems feature a radar and camera sensor. The camera sensor and radar detect if a pedestrian is in front of the vehicle and whether they are stationary or moving. When a person  is in the radar’s range, the system alerts the driver and if action is not taken, brakes are automatically applied. You can see Steven and this technology in action below:

Toyota continues to research and develop new technologies that prevent crashes and minimize damage for drivers, passengers and pedestrians. You can expect to find the latest technology in the brand’s newest models.