When it comes to buying a new car, safety is paramount.
For the past 70 years, Calspan, an independent global engineering company specializing in aerospace and automotive safety, has served customers by ensuring that the vehicles they drive and planes they ride meet necessary standards when it comes to safety ratings.
For cars, one way to do that, is to test them in a crash lab.
Over the past year, Calspan’s CEO Lou Knotts and Chairman John Yurchuk, have led their team on a mission to create a world class, multi-million dollar crash lab.
A unique lab that has the flexibility and ability to test various types of crashes, including: head on collisions, car to car, pedestrian to car, bumper to bumper and much more.
However, with the rate at which technology is advancing, Knotts said, the government needs to start considering the degree of intelligence and design that goes into cars and devices today - take for instance, self-driving cars.
“Cars have gotten so safe, almost all of them are five star ratings now. But, what they don’t include is all this extra technology that’s not rated by an independent test lab and it needs to be,” Knotts expressed.
As an independent company, Calspan works both with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and government standards to lower the percentage of auto accidents.
“We’ve seen an increase in car fatalities in 2017, since 2015 and 2016. I think this has a lot to do with distracted driving and the many ways in which the automobile industry has changed,” Yurkchuk continued.
The hope for this new crash lab is to not only continue drawing customers from around the world to see what Western New York has to offer, but also to showcase the level of skill and talent that exists here.
Between their Niagara Falls and Cheektowaga locations, Calspan employees roughly 500 people - a number both Knotts and Yurchuk say has room for growth.
“We would never have built this facility if we didn’t have the right teams in place to use it,” Yurchuk shared.
For more information on Calspan’s brand new crash lab and an overview of their services, visit the company website.