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Research & Data

Vehicle Research & Testing

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Vehicle Research and Test Center (VRTC) is the agency's in-house laboratory. Staff at VRTC conduct research and vehicle testing in support of NHTSA's mission to save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce traffic-related health care and other economic costs. Studies performed cover the areas of crash avoidance, crashworthiness, biomechanics, and defects analysis. These activities support development of Federal motor vehicle safety standards which assure safer vehicles through enhanced vehicle performance, improved occupant protection systems, better structural integrity of vehicles, increased understanding of driver behavior, and the use of intelligent systems to enhance drivers' ability to avoid crashes and travel safely. Defects analysis supports the agency's work to identify and correct safety-related defects in motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment, and to ensure that recalls are effective and conducted in accordance with Federal law and regulations.

VRTC Capabilities     

  • Crash test dummy standardization
  • Crash avoidance testing and research
  • Cyber security laboratory
  • Defects analysis assessment and testing
  • Crashworthiness testing and research