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Toyota formalises JV for electric RAV4

Toyota has announced that it will initiate the development of an electric version of its RAV4, together with Tesla Motors with the aim of getting it to market in the US by 2012.

According to the two companies, Tesla will produce and deliver a fleet of prototypes to Toyota for evaluation within this year, with the first prototype already built and undergoing testing.

The JV will allow Tesla to benefit from Toyota's engineering, manufacturing, and production expertise, while Toyota aims to learn from Tesla's EV technology, daring spirit, quick decision-making, and flexibility.

Tesla's goal is to produce increasingly affordable electric cars for mainstream buyers - and describes itself as 'relentless' in its attempts to drive down the cost of EVs. California-based Tesla designs and manufactures EVs and EV powertrain components, and is currently the only automaker in the US that builds and sells highway-capable EVs in serial production.

Crash test dummy donated to Smithsonian

A General Motors crash test dummy, whose 15 years of service included scores of full-vehicle crash tests and a host of special assignments, will spend a peaceful retirement in the celebrated Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

The donation of 50H-1, an Anthropomorphic Test Device, or ATD, is part of a museum initiative to collect materials related to technological advancements in the auto industry to improve safety features. The ATD will be part of a collection that also includes costumes and props from a recent US safety belt campaign by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Ad Council.

"GM's leading role in the development of crash test devices over the decades makes it fitting that one of our crash veterans become part of the Smithsonian's collections," said Mike Robinson, GM VP of Safety Policy. "With all that we have learned from him over the years, it almost seems unfair to call 50H-1 a dummy."

50H-1 is significant because he represents the dummy most used in US automotive crash testing. His title refers to the Hybrid III ATD representing a typical male adult in the 50(th) percentile for height and weight.

"GM developed the Hybrid III dummy design in the 1980s and shared the patents with government and industry," said Jack Jensen, a GM Technical Fellow. "This is the dummy most widely used in crash testing across the US."

Just since 2007, 50H-1 has been used in more than 50 tests designed to improve the safety of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac cars, trucks and crossovers. 50H-1 is intimately familiar with the Barrier Crash Facility, known as Building 61, at the organisation's Milford testing site. It was among the first dummies used in rollover crash testing when the $10 million addition opened in late 2006.

In calmer times, 50H-1 was the subject of static testing for vehicle seat positioning and seat belt routing studies and travelled throughout the United States for everything from highway guard rail testing to a robotics display.

Safe and Reliable. A good feeling: Bosch Braking Systems

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