The ultimate governance of strategy in relation to safety lies at the highest level of the management organization.
Several functions across engineering, research and development, which contribute to the implementation of this strategy, includes representatives from the regional Active and Passive Safety, Regulatory and Quality areas.
With respect to long-range safety research, the Centro Ricerche Fiat (CRF) is the focal point and draws on a broad array of technical skills, covering all automotive engineering disciplines, together with state-of-the-art laboratories for testing.
Additionally, the Chrysler Group Automotive Research and Development Centre (ARDC) in Windsor (Canada) is home to the Lighting Research Facility, one of the largest of its kind in the world.
With a 91-meter, two-lane indoor roadway – including roadside markings, overhead signs and reflectors – the facility is used for headlamp, fog lamp and taillamp testing. In this facility, consistent weather conditions can be created regardless of season or time of day, and it is equipped with fog simulation equipment.
The Group evaluates how vehicles may impact the health and safety of customers through crash analysis and real-life road safety data. A team of specialized engineers within the Group Safety Center in Orbassano (Italy), Auburn Hills and the Chelsea Proving Grounds (US) develops and assesses effective safety systems, concentrating on various aspects including safety levels in front and side collisions for vehicles from different segments, protection of vulnerable road users and integration of active and passive safety systems. In support of this approach, upgrades are continually implemented in our impact test facilities. Most recently, the focus has been on improving the main physical crash testing tools, the full-size vehicle crash barriers and impact simulators, resulting in greater capability and precision in crash replication and analysis. The latest innovations in Anthropomorphic Test Dummies were also added to the testing fleet to support child safety development in frontal and side crashes, as well as adult safety in lateral crashes.
In addition, vehicle safety system performance in real world collisions is analyzed, with results leading to the development of future active and passive safety systems. Also worthy of mention is the simulation and analysis of thirty real accidents in 2013, performed by the Product Safety & Innovation team at the Pomigliano Technical Center (Italy).