The evasive manoeuvre test (Swedish: Undanmanöverprov), more commonly known as the moose test or elk test (Swedish: Älgtest, German: Elchtest), is performed to determine how well a certain vehicle evades a suddenly appearing obstacle.
Forms of the test have been performed in Sweden since the 1970s. The colloquial and internationally better-known name for the test was coined in 1997 by the German Süddeutsche Zeitung after the Swedish motor magazine Teknikens Värld flipped a Mercedes-Benz A-Class in a test ostensibly made to measure the car's ability to avoid hitting a moose.
In reality, the test is rather constructed to simulate, for example, a reversing car or a child rushing out onto the road. This is because it is more likely that the moose will continue across the road than remain in place or turn back, making it more advisable to brake hard and try to slip behind the animal than to swerve in front of it.
The test is performed on a dry road surface. Traffic cones are set up in an S shape to simulate the obstacle, road, and road edges. The car to be tested has one belted person in each available seat and weights in the trunk to achieve maximum load.
When the driver comes onto the track, he or she quickly swerves into the oncoming lane to avoid the object and then immediately swerves back to avoid oncoming traffic. The test is repeated with an increased speed until the car skids, knocks down cones, or spins around. This usually happens at speeds of about 70–80 km/h (45–50 mph) in the best cases.
1997 Mercedes A-Class test
In 1997, the journalist Robert Collin from the motor magazine Teknikens Värld overturned the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class in the moose test, while a Trabant—a much older, and widely mocked car from the former German Democratic Republic—managed it perfectly. The Dacia Logan appeared initially to fail the test, but a later investigation concluded that excessive testing had worn the car's tires to failure.
On the occasion of being interviewed for an article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Collin tried to explain this test by the example of an evasive maneuver for a moose on the road. It was soon called Elchtest (moose test).
Swedish automotive magazine Teknikens Värld tests "hundreds of cars every year" with the moose test. It publishes results from many years of moose testing on their web site It shows many cars and the speed they had on the moose testing track.
The term "Moose test" has become popular with German journalists in various meanings. For example, when the German national football team is scheduled for a friendly match (German: Freundschaftsspiel or Testspiel) against Sweden, the game might be called an Elchtest.
The moose-crash test around the world
The moose is common in Sweden, Norway, Finland, northern Russia, and Canada but does not appear in Denmark or Germany. Because of its heavy weight and tall legs, collisions with moose are particularly dangerous for the persons in a car.
The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute has developed a moose crash test dummy called "Mooses". The dummy (which is made with similar weight, centre of gravity and dimensions to a live moose) is used to recreate realistic moose collisions.
Australian car manufacturers use crash test kangaroo dummies for similar reasons.
- Rabe, Mattias (10 July 2012). "How Jeep Grand Cherokee failed the evasive maneuver test". Teknikens Värld.
- Andersson, Sven-Erik (1998-04-14). "Så bra är de nya sommardäcken". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 2012-07-12. "Aldrig tidigare har däck testats i "älgtest" – det test som fick Mercedes A-klass på fall. 40 meters körning mellan koner, och en tvär undanmanöver, som simulerar att till exempel ett barn (inte en älg) plötsligt kommer utspringande framför bilen." / "Never before have tires been tested in "the moose test" - the test that brought down the Mercedes A-class. 40 meters of driving through cones, and a sharp evasive manoeuvre, that for example simulates a child (not a moose) suddenly rushing in front of the car."
- Collin, Robert (2004-11-15). "Vältklassen". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- "Trafikolyckor & olycksstatistik". Körkortonline.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 13 July 2013. "När en älg väl har börjat gå över vägen är sannolikheten störst att den fortsätter över vägen. Därför är det bäst att styra in bakom älgen, om du måste välja vilket håll du ska väja åt." / "When a moose have begun to cross the road, it is likely that it will continue across. Therefore it is best to stear behind the moose, if you have to choose what way to swerve."
- The Sydney Morning Herald (May 6, 2005). "Petite feat - drive.com.au". The Sydney Morning Herald. drive.com.au. Archived from the original on 19 July 2005. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
- Article in newspaper Die Zeit (where Collin is wrongly spelled as Collins (German)
- "The Ford Discovery Centre". Intown Geelong. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute - Moose Crash Test Dummy
- Moose test - list of the fastest and slowest cars