Watch Volvo Drop Cars From A 100-Foot Crane For Shits, Giggles And Important Research

Screenshot: Volvo

Sure, crash testing cars horizontally is extremely useful, but who wants to be cooped up inside a drab crash test facility all day? Remember how exciting it was when your professor told you class would be held outside? Well, crash testers are no different and enjoy mixing it up a bit in the great outdoors, too. That’s why Volvo dropped a bunch of new cars and SUVs from a 100-foot crane to the ground. Well, that and also because doing so gave rescue workers extremely valuable data, training, and experience dealing with modern cars and materials.

Advertisement

Also, I suspect Volvo internal reports suggesting that 93 percent of wrecks happen in situations where coyotes, chasing fast-moving species of fowl, end up plummeting off cliffs. These tests are ideal for evaluating vehicles’ crash safety in such situations.

Illustration for article titled Watch Volvo Drop Cars From A 100-Foot Crane For Shits, Giggles And Important Research
Screenshot: Volvo
Advertisement

Volvo claims this series of tests is the “most extreme crash test ever executed by Volvo Cars,” and represents a significant change for rescue service crash testing and training, who normally use cars ten to 20 years old from scrapyards.

Materials and designs of cars have changed significantly, so the opportunity to test rescue methods on modern cars is very important. As Volvo’s Cars Traffic Accident Research Team describes it:

And in terms of steel strength, safety cage construction and overall durability, there is a vast difference between modern cars and those built fifteen to twenty years ago. And new Volvos are made of some of the hardest steel found in modern cars.

This makes it crucial for rescue workers to constantly update their familiarity with newer car models and review their processes, in order to develop new extrication techniques. In other words, these training sessions can mean the difference between life and death. So at the request of the rescue services, Volvo Cars decided to step things up a notch.

Okay, enough jabber. Time to watch a bunch of cars dropped from a crane:

Yes, yes, very satisfying. Now fill one with chili and do it, Volvo! Do two at once! Can that crane, like, throw them? Try that!

Advertisement

It’s worth mentioning that dropping cars from cranes isn’t exactly new; Volvo’s Viking brother Saab used to do it, too, though from much smaller distances, indoors, and to primarily test rollover protection:

Illustration for article titled Watch Volvo Drop Cars From A 100-Foot Crane For Shits, Giggles And Important Research
Photo: Saab
Advertisement

Dropping new cars from extreme heights to aid first responders, like Volvo is doing now, is pretty novel, and I don’t think has much precedent.

And, yes, I am in the process of requisitioning a crane so we can add similar tests to our car review procedures. Manufacturers, you know where to send your press vehicles.

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!: https://rb.gy/udnqhh)

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

Isn’t there a point where nothing can save occupants from a vertical/near-vertical crash? Is 100 feet the limit? How about sustained hits from rollovers? That one I wanna see as well. Preferably with me in it.