National Geographic : 1983 Jul
put Americans back in U. S. cars than was spent to put an American on the moon. "This is a fight for survival," said Paul Guy, a Ford engineering and systems direc tor. "I've been here 25 years and have never seen such dedication." "Improvements in quality are taking place," says professor Robert Cole, "but the Japanese are not standing still." @ARS NOW STAND on the threshold of a new era, and excitement ac companies the sense of change. Im ports seem to have an edge on quality, but most new American cars are superior to yesterday's machines. "Maybe they won't outdrag the old mus cle cars," said Car and Driver technical editor Csaba Csere. "But they ride more Shock troops in the campaignfor safety, dummies sit as surrogatesfor live passengers in tests for vehicle crashworthiness.Working on a child-size model at GeneralMotors Proving Grounds (below), an engineerfine-tunes the sensing mechanisms that will determine the location and severity of injury. Technicians at Dynamic Science, Incorporated,in Phoenix (below left)pull a "victim" from a Mercedes-Benz crumpled from impact with a steel-and-concrete barrier. Despite safety measures such as padded dashboards and seat belts, auto accidents claim 50,000 lives in the United States each year.