Hybrid II crash test dummy, 1970s (left)

Crash test dummies for cars were introduced in the 1950s at universities, where scientists and scholars tested theories of motorist restraint and protection, “packaging the passenger” with seat belts and other safety devices. By the late 1960s, independent firms supplied crash test dummies to automobile manufacturers, who had to prove that they were in compliance with new federal seat belt regulations and standards. Dummies were fitted with internal sensing devices that measured and recorded impact. General Motors was not satisfied with dummies placed on the market, and in 1972 GM designed the Hybrid II, so named because it combined the best features of Alderson VIP and Sierra dummies, with some original GM component designs. Unlike previous dummies, Hybrid II provided consistent results under similar conditions. Hybrid II also had a human-like slouch, a rubber neck instead of ball-and-socket, and well defined knee-leg action. GM shared its design with competitors and dummy manufacturers. In 1973, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration certified Hybrid II as the only dummy approved for seat belt compliance testing.
Currently not on view
Object Name
crash test dummy, automotive
crash test dummy (anthropomorphic test device)
date made
Sierra Engineering Company
Physical Description
vinyl (overall material)
aluminum (frame - head material)
steel (frame - torso material)
overall: 36 in x 23 in x 37 in; 91.44 cm x 58.42 cm x 93.98 cm
place made
United States: California, Sierra Madre
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Road Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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