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Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: boburkel-ga
List Price: $105.00
Posted: 17 Jan 2003 09:11 PST
Expires: 16 Feb 2003 09:11 PST
Question ID: 144762
I have a patent that will make automobiles safer. It is basically
putting airbag-like baloons that are always inflated within all the
empty places in the cars inner frame. When you knock on your car's
metal frame, it sounds hollow. The bags of air would be in there, out
of site, no weight, but protecting the occupants in cases of

How do I test this? The auto companies won't talk to me the same way
they wouldn't talk to the airbag manufacturers until the government
made them. So I have to implement it myself and then crash the car,
take photos, and prove that it works.

How do I crash test a car to demonstrate the idea? are there
facilities that I can pay to do this? Companies that would do it for a
fee? Kind of like, but they do their own research and
patents and won't take outside suggestions.

How would you recommend getting automobile manufacturers to buy this
idea given the thousands of lives it will save? Money, to a certain
degree, is not a problem.

Request for Question Clarification by hlabadie-ga on 17 Jan 2003 12:57 PST
We can give a list of testing facilities, and can advise on the patent
process, but the automobile manufacturers are motivated by
profit/loss, not by altruism. We can suggest some lines of persuasion,
but they will all come down to enlightened self-interest for the

Is that what you are seeking?


Clarification of Question by boburkel-ga on 18 Jan 2003 15:03 PST
Testing facilities and your thoughts about motivating the auto
manufacturers. Anything that you think can bring this to market. What
about government means? Thanks.
Answered By: hlabadie-ga on 18 Jan 2003 16:08 PST
There are many testing labs from which to choose. Here are a few.



US Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Web Site (NHTSA)
Independent Laoratories (List of labs that have done work for the

Other Selected Labs

Calspan University of Buffalo Research Center Home Page

Transportation Research Center
TRC HomePage

TRC Testing Facility (with international certification)

Karco Engineering

"KARCO Engineering is an independent test laboratory and automotive
research center devoted to providing research and development, design
evaluation, compliance, certification, dummy calibration services,
accident simulation, and custom testing of motor vehicles and
mechanical systems. Clients include the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA), foreign and domestic vehicle
manufacturers, equipment suppliers, insurance companies, and firms
involved in personal injury and product liability."

MGA Research Coporation


National Transportation Research Center (NTRC)

Public release date: 27-Dec-2001

'Contact: Cindy Lundy
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory 

Transportation research opportunities to increase at NTRC

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Dec. 27, 2001--Scientists studying vehicle safety,
fuel efficiency, traffic management and other transportation issues
will now have improved access to state-of-the-art laboratories at the
National Transportation Research Center.
The NTRC, located along Hardin Valley Road near Pellissippi Parkway in
West Knoxville, has been designated a national user facility by the
Department of Energy. This designation enables scientists conducting
research and development for the transportation industry and related
fields to have special access to the facility.
 The center--a joint effort involving the Department of Energy,
Development Corporation of Knox County, Oak Ridge  National Laboratory
and the University of Tennessee--also provides access to unique R&D
facilities not readily available to industry and other organizations.
Transportation research totaling $100 million is already being
conducted by ORNL and UT, and approximately one third of that work is
performed at the NTRC. Nearly half of the research is funded by DOE’s
Office of Transportation Technology.
User facilities enable researchers from corporations, universities and
other institutions to conduct proprietary and non-proprietary
research. They encourage collaborative efforts among ORNL, private
industry and other institutions.
ORNL's Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development
Directorate coordinates these efforts. The NTRC is one  of 19 user
facilities available to researchers inside and outside ORNL.
Bill Madia, UT-Battelle president and ORNL director, said the ORNL-UT
partnership will pave the way for important transportation research.
"It provides a window to transportation-related research performed at
both ORNL and UT," Madia said. "Working together  with other
institutions using the NTRC, we can solve many of the challenges faced
by the transportation industry."
Dwayne McCay, UT vice president for research and information
technology, said the user facility designation will benefit the
university's transportation-related work.
"The designation expands the research value of the NTRC for the
university and the scientific community," McCay said.
NTRC User Facility Director Richard Ziegler said the user facility
designation would enable the center to add to its existing  variety of
research programs in the transportation field. "Visitors to the
NTRC—including Congressional staffers and other  Washington
officials—have commented on the wide range of transportation R&D
knowledge exhibited by our scientists and engineers," he said. "I
believe our facility likely offers the most diverse transportation
research expertise in the country."
Ziegler explained that much of the NTRC research is being performed in
partnership with U.S. auto companies, major engine manufacturers and
more than 100 of their suppliers.
The facility also offers some unique capabilities. "We are working on
five different methods for measuring diesel particulate emissions,"
Ziegler said. "At least two of these don’t exist anywhere else."
Researchers in the NTRC Composites Laboratory are awaiting the April
arrival of a new test device being constructed  especially for them.
It will enable them to measure—for the first time—the properties of
materials at the equivalent of 2-10 miles per hour.
"This is very significant in vehicle crash test research," Ziegler
explained. "In a crash that occurs at a speed of 30 miles per hour,
for example, many of the changes to the vehicle materials actually
occur at the lower speeds. If we can understand how the materials
change, we may be able to take advantage of those changes to help
absorb more of the crash energy, thus making vehicles safer."'

E-Tech Testing Services, Inc.

"E-TECH's Rocklin test facility is located at 3617B Cincinnati Avenue,
Rocklin, California. The test facility includes a 135 m2 office, 225
m2 shop, 150 m2 materials test laboratory, and a 1.5 ha full-scale
outdoor crash testing area. The crash testing area features two 430 m
long by 6 m wide asphalt lanes with independent test pads at each end.
Test  pad foundations are available in soil, sand, compacted subbase,
asphalt, and concrete. E-TECH also operates a nearby Lincoln test
facility located at 1420 Flight Line Drive, Lincoln, California. This
facility is often used on crash test programs requiring substantial
facility improvements and/or a wide-open area for posttest vehicle
trajectory. The Lincoln test facility is situated on an abandoned
airport runway and features a 5 ha full scale crash testing area.
Available test pad foundations are similar to those at the Rocklin
Primary laboratory standards are maintained for mass, acceleration,
force, time, length, temperature, hardness, and angular rate
measurements. E-TECH utilizes state-of-the-art laboratory and test
equipment, including:

Solid state triaxial accelerometers and rate transducers 
Advance technology high speed video and 16 mm film recording and
analysis equipment
Variable speed static and dynamic compression / tensile testing
High capacity pendulum drop test fixture 
Accelerated UV, corrosion, and temperature / humidity chambers 
High speed multi-channel remote and on-board digital data acquisition
Complex digital signal analysis software 
Servohydraulic vibration shake fixture"


Accident Reconstruction Network

Automotive Safety Research, Inc.

"Automotive Safety Research offers engineering consultation and expert
testimony in the fields of automotive safety. We specialize in
research related to air bag and seat belt safety and in accident
(Also has useful links.)

Automotive Safety Research Institute Home Page

Center for Research into Automotive Safety and Health

"CRASH is a nonprofit public benefit corporation committed to
conducting scientific research and educational activities  related to
safety and health concerns associated with automobile crashes."

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety


Public Citizen, Joan Claybrook, President (former head of NHTSA)

Auto Safety Group

They probably cannot make endorsements, but they can probably provide
some assistance in contacting the appropriate people in the industry.
After all, Ralph Nader made his name by attacking the auto industry in
"Unsafe at Any Speed."


General Motors Research and Development

GM Research Labs

Ford Motor Company

Safety & Security

Design & Technology

Daimler Chrysler

DaimlerChrysler Reasearch and Technology - Overview


The first thing to do is to contact the laboratories and to consult
about the type of vehicle to be tested and the types of tests that you
wish to conduct, pricing, scheduling, etc. After selecting a lab and
obtaining results, you will want to obtain as much publicity as
possible for the product and its performance in the tests. You will
need a media consultant, an automotive safety consultant, an
automotive industry accounting specialist, liability attorney, etc.
You will need to line up support from automotive safety advocacy
groups. You will then be in position to approach the manufacturers.
They will need to know why they should adopt your product in their
designs, how much will be the additional cost per vehicle, how much
will be the cost of retooling their assembly lines and retraining
workers, how much they will save over present technologies for crash
energy absorption, how much their civil liabilities will be decreased,
the advantages in public relations. If you can make the product into
an after market form, that can be installed by dealers or mechanics,
then there will be a pool of real-world vehicles to serve as subjects
for further study. All of this will take years and much money.
Manufacturers are impressed by financial savings, increased profits,
reduced product liability, reduced production costs. Those are things
that will motivate them. If you can't succeed with the Big Three US
corporations, try a company such as Volvo, which has made a reputation
for safety innovations.

Good luck.

Search strategy;

crash test facility
crash test laboratory
automotive safety research
automotive safety consultant
General Motors research development
Ford research development
Chrysler research development

Google researchers can only find information and pointers to
information. Advice is purely subjective and may or may not be of any
actual use. You will have to exercise your own best judgment. All
Google disclaimers apply to the above. None of the above substitutes
for advice from competent attorneys, safety consultants, or testing

From: blader-ga on 19 Jan 2003 16:22 PST
Hi boburkel:

I'm the researcher working on your VOIP and Unified Messaging
question. It took a few days to hear back from the companies, but I
now have your requested list of 10 companies that specialize in
outsourcing their unified messaging services to telecom and other
service providers, which are very similar to Accessline
Communications. Unfortunately, your question:
expired today. If it's not too late still to post an answer to your
question, please let me know. I believe you will find my answer well
suited to your needs.

Best regards,
From: blader-ga on 20 Jan 2003 12:36 PST
Hi again Boburkel:

I noticed that you reposted the question, but closed it after 4 hours.
I'm assuming it is because another researcher began work on the same
question? If you want, you could specify that the question is "for
blader-ga only," then other researchers would not attempt to answer
it. I will be watching for your repost daily. Thank you!

Best Regards,
From: leaftrout-ga on 22 Jan 2003 20:39 PST
Most new cars today use a compacting honeycombed design to fill up
empty spaces and provide suitable force distribution during a
collision.  This design is equivalent to a wadded up piece of paper
which can absorb more energy than a flat piece of paper can while it
absorbs more of the force.
From: martinjay-ga on 31 Jan 2003 22:44 PST
I greatly respect what you are trying to do, 
and as a former employee of a Big 3 headquarters
in Detroit, would also want to give some
feedback.  Though I joked that people in
Detroit know everything about cars and nothing
about car buyers, before investing your money
in pursuing this, make sure you get feedback
from them.  As an inventor, I realize that most 
people become 'in love' with their ideas and inventions.
Sometimes when you don't get positive reactions you
need to realize this is the market saying to you 'it's
not gonna happen' or 'try again.'  Make sure you
understand what people are telling you.  There are 
all sorts of things we could do to make cars safer
or more fuel efficient, but each Big 3 has 1000s of
Accountants and Engineers making sure only
those which have real potential make it into testing.

Not to dissuade you, but make sure you have open eyes.
Good luck, and even if this idea doesn't make it,
keep trying!  You only need one good idea to make
a difference, and only need one to become very rich.
Wish you luck in both.

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