DUNTON, UK – Ford’s global B-car safety project manager, Tom Overington, has been named Person of the Year by respected publication Automotive Testing Technology International Magazine.
Overington was awarded the title in recognition of his work developing and testing Ford B-MAX’s easy-access door system.
Dunton-based Overington, together colleagues in the UK and Germany, developed unique crash-test equipment and implemented a unique test procedure to prove out the structural integrity of B-MAX in a variety of different crash modes
The five-year testing program included 5,000 virtual collisions along with 40 real-life, full-vehicle crashes, and another 100 tests where the car was mounted on a sled and accelerated into a barrier.
It took three years to hone the rear-door safety and the testing process also included the construction of a bespoke rig system used to test the reinforced latches supplied with the car.
“It gives me great pleasure to accept this award on behalf of the engineering teams, both in the UK and Germany, who have worked on the Ford B-MAX,” said Overington. “I have been involved with the development of B-MAX from the very beginning of the project and now after the launch it’s great to see the positive reaction from customers and the media to its innovative door system.
“The ingenious design of the B-MAX was always going to pose significant challenges to the safety teams involved in the development of the product but, through the use of the most advanced materials, design, analysis and testing techniques, we were able to bring the concept to reality, meeting our stringent safety targets.”
When Euro NCAP crash tested B-MAX earlier this year, the organisation awarded it a maximum five star rating, describing its safety performance as “uncompromised”.
B-MAX also received two Advanced Rewards from Euro NCAP for the Active City Stop and SYNC with Emergency Assistance features.