Automotive supplier Eaton Corporation hasn’t been in the airbag business in almost 40 years. They abandoned that market in 1975 after slow acceptance by the auto industry and by consumers convinced them that it wasn’t worth the approximately $135 million that they and their customers had invested in the Auto-Ceptor restraint system, the first practical airbags. The crash test site where they developed those airbags still exists, though, just across the street from Eaton’s Southfield, Michigan technical center. Much of the site is intact, with both head-on and pole-impact barriers, as well as the remnants of the guide track used to run test sleds into the barrier.
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