Posted Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 4:19am

A safer ride for Rover and Rex

Safety-minded Subaru has a new pet project: crash tests for dogs.

This year, the automaker started funding first-of-its-kind research by the nonprofit Center for Pet Safety to study the dangers of driving with a dog. The researchers are borrowing from the driver-safety playbook, putting dog-shaped dummies through crash simulations at a Virginia laboratory that tests child seats for the government.

Subaru, which has carefully cultivated an image as a pet-friendly brand, hopes the research will bring some order to the chaotic business of protecting pets in vehicles.