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article imageHow would auto technology impact evolution? 'Graham' shows us

By Karen Graham     Jul 23, 2016 in Technology
Melbourne - From the first steam-powered automobile capable of human transportation built in 1768, to the Google self-driving car of today, automotive technology has evolved in leaps and bounds, leaving us humans in the dust, evolution-wise.
Melbourne, Australia's Transport Accident Commission is well-known for its perchance for ads that have a certain amount of shock value, so when they came up with their Toward Zero road-safety campaign, it turned out to be a bit different.
Enter Graham, a redesigned human sculpture of “the only person designed to survive on our roads,” according to his creators at Clemenger BBDO in Melbourne, Australia. Instead of using shock-value to get safe driving messages across to the public, they decided to "fix" the human body.
Graham has a number of evolutionary improvements  designed to protect the body from injury in a car ...
Graham has a number of evolutionary improvements, designed to protect the body from injury in a car crash.
Australia's Transport Accident Commission
The Clemenger team collaborated with crash investigator David Logan, trauma surgeon Christian Kenfield, and sculptor Patricia Piccinini to come up with "Graham," a life-sized mock-up of an evolutionarily advanced human capable of surviving a low-speed car crash.
Graham is not someone a woman might want to pick on a dating website, and he has a torso that looks like he's a stand-in for the Hulk. And his face? Well, it looks like he was hit upside the head with a two-by-four. As for his neck, it just isn't there, and all those air sacs lining his rib cage make him rather unattractive, if not down-right ugly.
But as Clemerger explains it, every modification given to Graham is based on the concept of evolution if it were speeded up to go hand-in-hand with automotive technology, with apologies to Charles Darwin, of course.
Graham doesn t need his neck anymore. His ribcage has become elongated and is designed to protect hi...
Graham doesn't need his neck anymore. His ribcage has become elongated and is designed to protect his spinal cord.
Australia's Transport Accident Commission
Starting at the top of Graham, the oversize head comes with "crumple-zones," and extra padding around the skull, meant to protect the brain. Graham doesn't have a neck. Instead, he has an elongated rib cage that protects his spinal cord, preventing a whiplash in a collision, according to CTV News Canada.
Graham's nose is missing, too, so there is no way he could break it if his head slams into the steering wheel. "Head mobility is greatly reduced and his knees also move laterally, which may mean he’s a little wobbly," said Stephen de Wolf, creative director at Clemenger BBDO
Graham's large chest with the added fatty looking air-sacs between his ribs are for the protection of his rib cage and internal organs against any crushing injuries. And if Graham happens to be on the street instead of inside his car, his legs are constructed with pedestrian collisions in mind, also.
His lower ankle area has an extra joint to give him increased mobility, in case he has to jump out of the way of a speeding car. This makes his feet look more like hooves, though. And Graham's knees have been made more flexible to withstand an impact injury.
With an extra joint in the ankle  Graham has greater versatility  making it easier to get out of the...
With an extra joint in the ankle, Graham has greater versatility, making it easier to get out of the way of oncoming cars if he is on the street.
Australia's Transport Accident Commission
While Graham may not be pretty to look at, it was important to his creators that "people could connect with him, that he needed humanity," de Wolf said. "He had to be as real as possible, and while he looks great in print and online, seeing him in the flesh, so to speak, is something else entirely."
Curious Melburnians can see Graham in person at the State Library of Victoria, but everyone else can view his biological adaptations online. The "Meet Graham" site is the first in Australia to use the augmented reality capabilities of Google Tango, which allows users to peer beneath Graham’s skin and view his enhancements from the inside.
More about Graham, human vulnerability, auto technology, survive a car crash, Evolution
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