Smashing a remote control Smart Car

Craft & Design Energy & Sustainability Robotics Science

Seriously, what is not to love about this video? Proper accents, a remote control car crashing into a concrete barrier at highway speed, lots of camera angles, slow mo replays, picking through the wreckage in the post-crash analysis. And then they do it again to a second car!

From 70 miles an hour to naught in one second, energy to move tons of concrete…The steel cage has certainly done its’ job really well, you can still see the original shape…Its only when you come round the front that you see that Massive Impact.

The Smart Car sure is tiny, but it has a surprising ability to handle the impact of crashes.

Cars have significantly different safety design aspects to alter the way they protect passengers in an acident. Th older cars of the 80’s and before, were largely made of steel, and had rigid frames. Modern automotive design has many softer features intended to shift the energy of impact away from the passengers. It is much easier to find out how a car will perform in an accident than in the past.

How well would your car stand up in an accident? Has your vehicle been designed with shock absorbing crumple zones? Do you know how to drive for maximum safety? How about that remote control action? Have you ever rigged up a car to be controllable through radio or other systems? Add your photos to the Make Flickr pool, and comment in with your tales of success/failure and adventure!

15 thoughts on “Smashing a remote control Smart Car

  1. Christian Conkle says:

    If you freeze-frame after he demonstrates the passenger door opening and closing, you can see that the steering column has gone a long, long way… well, a long way through where the driver would have been. Airbags, indeed…

  2. Archibald Twang says:

    What do you mean by ‘proper accents’? Is this something to do with the American fascination with the British accent?

    1. Chris Connors says:

      Gee, maybe it is. I do find it interesting that the accents in the segment are all British, but the units are imperial. This means that they went back through the audio in post production and created new voiceovers to the video making it more friendly for an American audience.

  3. Simon says:

    I don’t have sound on my PC at work so I can’t hear the audio but I am guessing the units we’re talking about is the speed in MPH? The UK still uses imperial measurements for speeds and distance as far as I know. They definitely use them in Top Gear! I am forever doing the mental calculation from MPH to KPH in my head watching that.

    As for the accents being ‘proper’ I think that’s just another indication of how American centric Make is! Nothing wrong with that of course. It just becomes very apparent around Halloween and Thanksgiving. Every second story at the moment seems to involve turkeys! It just makes something non American stand out I think.

    1. Chris Connors says:

      Ok Simon, you throw down the gauntlet. How about you send more leads to us from your glorious corner of the world? It’s great how inventive people are in their own way in with the things they have at hand. Depending on where you are, there will be a different collection of clutter to experiment with. Many people have to create the things they need out of what they have. Things that are abundant in one country or region are scarce in another.

      Lots of people think that it is just easier to buy than Make. Sure, but what if you can’t buy? What if it just isn’t available at any price? If you need a locally unavailable part for the vehicle you would love dearly to sell, but cannot find it, how do you create it?

      Here in the States, we are very accustomed to just driving to the shop to get what we need. That just isn’t an option for some people, either because of the driving part or the shop part.

      So how do the people in your community Make things? What do you have a lot of to experiment with? What is scarce, but needs to be created? What are the local celebrations and holidays that people near you create things for? Show off your local talents, no matter where you are!


  4. Simon says:

    Oh, that clip is from Fifth Gear I think. I prefer Top Gear myself :)

  5. Andy says:

    Indeed – we still use ‘Imperial’ units – but only for driving and beer.

    No really! We drive miles at miles-per-hour to get to the pub where we buy beer in pints.

    And those, really, are the only 2 areas we ever use Imperial units, EVERYTHING else is Metric!

    In fact store-owners can be prosecuted for selling in imperial units! (no I’m not joking…look it up, if you don’t believe me)

    And yes indeed, that is the show ‘Fifth Gear’ with the wonderfully nasal Tiff Needell and the disgracefully sexy-but-sounds-like-an-eight-year-old Vicky Butler-Henderson.

    Oh yeah, damn… I forgot one! Bloody MacDonalds!

    they still sell the “Quarter Pounder” here! It’s only the ‘Royale’ on mainland Europe!

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