09-12-2005, 02:39 AM
Here is an excerpt from a motorsportscenter.com interview with Henrik Fisker, Aston Martin's Director of Design from 2001 until December of last year.
MotorSportsCenter: Does the V8 Vantage adhere to the new European safety law regarding pedestrians?
Henrik Fisker: The Vantage actually comes out before that law takes effect. Just to give a comment on that - and this is just purely my opinion, not reflecting on Ford Motor Company - but there is a problem today, in my opinion, where you have too many government officials that don't understand the car industry but are making up laws, with good intent, but they end up really lingering the progress of even safety. You are only looking at one aspect; when you force only one aspect on a car, like pedestrian safety, you force the company to spend all their time and resources on that aspect, where if you look at it in a more holistic way - like, for instance, what Volvo has done for years; they have always had an eye on safety. Where does it make the most sense to improve safety? Volvo is the one that came out with a lot of [safety improvements] first, not from government regulations at all. That would be, for me, the better way to do it.
This pedestrian safety restriction, I think, is a waste of opportunity. And it's going to cost a lot of money, and it is money that will be paid for, in the end, by the consumers.
I think there are more innovative ways to deal with [safety]. Maybe some of that will come out; there will be some adjustment - that's my prediction. Unfortunately, we will spend a lot of money in the next few years, but then somebody will realize that maybe that was not the bet ideas, and then there will be some new ideas coming up.
(end of article)
Bumpers for cars will need to be more blunt in order to comply with the new regulations that take effect for cars built in Europe after October 2005.
In short, politicians and others think that auto makers should compensate for poor drivers and pedestrians. Europe has a lot of pedestrian deaths in car crashes relative to the U.S.
check these links
link one (http://www.euractiv.com/Article?tcmuri=tcm:29-117530-16&type=LinksDossier)
link two (http://www.safetyresearch.net/Library/SRS037.pdf)
link three (http://www.walk.com.au/pedestriancouncil/Page.asp?PageID=607)
link four (http://waw.wardsauto.com/ar/auto_pedestrian_impact/index.htm)
Bentley Flying Spur's plastic grille designed with pedestrian safety in mind
(The Flying Spur went into production before the new regulations took effect)
Posted Date: 5/12/05
Observers may be astonished that the wire mesh-looking radiator grille on the $165,000 Bentley Continental Flying Spur is plastic.
Bentley is not cost-cutting or trying to save weight on the 5,456-pound sedan.
The grille is designed with pedestrian safety in mind, said Engineering Director Ulrich Eichhorn. On impact, the grille breaks, and the relatively soft radiator behind it then deforms, he said.
Bentley said it has not designed the grille to help the 2006 Flying Spur meet European Union pedestrian safety regulations, which require a bigger crush zone between the person being hit and so-called hard points such as the engine.
“It was to meet our own standards,” Eichhorn said.
He doubts that the EU’s new pedestrian safety regulations will do much to protect pedestrians.
“No matter how you try to soften it, a car is hard,” Eichhorn said. The “really bad impact” is the secondary impact, when the pedestrian hits the street.
Said Eichhorn: “The best thing is to avoid the crash."
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