I got to drive the world’s first car (replica), patented by Benz in 1886
Check out the series on new safety features: http://ve42.co/MB
This video is sponsored by Mercedes Benz, who invited me to come to Stuttgart to see their latest cars, crash test facilities and experience the innovations they are working on.
Physics is something that is directly applicable to car safety. Cars go fast, but they also sometimes collide with obstacles, which brings them to a sudden stop, subjecting the car and occupants to very high accelerations, which can cause injury or death. So the major idea to improve car safety is to reduce these accelerations and there are a number of ways to do this:
Seat belts: keep passengers in the vehicle, preventing them from continuing with constant velocity, flying through the windshield and suffering a worse deceleration when they make contact with the road.
Crumple zones: increase the distance over which deceleration occurs, thereby reducing peak magnitude of deceleration.
Air bags: increase the distance over which the head decelerates, again reducing peak magnitude of deceleration of the head.
Anti-lock braking system: rather than ‘locking’ the wheels as can happen if you slam on the brakes with a traditional braking system leading to the tires skidding across the road, ABS attempts to control the amount of braking so that the tires always roll with static friction in contact with the road. This increases the backward frictional force that can be applied to the tires, again increasing the distance over which deceleration occurs, and it gives the driver an opportunity to steer to avoid the collision (hence why it’s referred to as an active safety system).
Special thanks to Mercedes for having me visit facilities in Stuttgart. I had a lot of fun making these videos so please do check out the series on Mercedes Benz’s channel: http://ve42.co/MB