The GMC Hummer EV has the crash testing agency curious whether its system can cope with upcoming hefty cars.
The IIHS recognizes that hefty electric cars, such as the GMC Hummer EV, will take a serious toll on the testing system it has in place today.
To anticipate these cars, massive measures are being taken to ensure that it can maintain its standard of crash testing as the new era of large and heavy electric cars approaches. Car weight appears to be a severe issue as logistics companies have also been struggling to move the enormous product.
To benchmark the system, older SUVs and trucks were loaded with steel plates and concrete blocks until they reached masses of up to 9,500 pounds. These were used to test its existing tow cable propulsion system that drives test cars into the crash test barriers. This sounds like a simple system, but the motor requires a lot of energy to get to the necessary test speed.
The IIHS says that its current system has been able to cater to cars released over the past two decades, but increased vehicle mass due to battery packs may have pushed the weight requirements past its current capacity. The loaded-up clunkers were launched toward the barrier at 40 mph over a 600-foot runway.
The system proved successful, but it looks like the sub-10-tonne category will be close to the limit of what the IIHS can currently test.
The IIHS has previously acknowledged that heavier cars are frequenting the streets of many American states, which is why it has increased its side barrier crash test requirements.
This resulted in almost all of the small cars it tested not too long ago earning merely acceptable ratings. So far, the heaviest car the IIHS has tested is the Audi e-Tron SUV which weighs in at just under 6,000 pounds. The GMC Hummer EV bears a claimed 9,063 lbs mass figure, which is unlike anything the crash testing agency has ever seen.
For this reason, the IIHS has called for all pickup trucks in the USA to be fitted with autonomous braking technology as standard. The bigger the vehicle, the more of a disaster it may be when something goes wrong, but thankfully experts in the autonomous technology sphere are getting ahead of developing features to make piloting larger means of transport a safer experience.