Braced for Impact

10 July 2015 - By Eugene Herbert

Hi Folks…


It is amazing how far we have come in
understanding challenges regarding vehicle crashes, but more importantly, what
the impact is on the driver.


Latest research from Toyota helps us
further understand the dynamics of what happens in a crash and as a result
what can be engineered “into the vehicle” to minimise its effects on a driver.


This scene may be familiar
to some drivers - You are in a car and you know you are about to hit
something.   If you are the driver, you’re likely to hit the brakes
and turn the wheel; if you’re a passenger, aware of what’s about to happen,
your instinct is to brace yourself for impact.


Latest initiatives from Toyota address
what could be done differently.


These changes in posture – relaxed or
braced – aren’t something physical crash test dummies can copy, but Toyota has
produced new software for its Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS) virtual
human modelling that replicates these kinds of pre-collision reactions.


The latest version of THUMS adds a
muscle modelling feature that can simulate the body attitude of different
vehicle occupants, from relaxed to braced, allowing for more detailed computer
analysis of the injures collisions can cause.












 



 



 Relaxed
state of the driver



 Braced
state of the driver    



 


Until now, THUMS could only simulate
changes in posture after a collision has happened, but the new Version 5 model
allows changes prior to an impact to be scrutinised. This means the performance
of seatbelts, airbags and other safety equipment can be studied more
accurately, as well as more advanced pre-collision systems. The intelligence
gained will help in the development of new safety technologies that can provide
better occupant protection.


THUMS Version 5 has already been adopted
by dozens of businesses, including vehicle and parts manufacturers, and is contributing
to vehicle safety research worldwide.


About THUMS

By simulating many characteristics of different parts of the human body, from
its overall shape to bones and skin, THUMS enables detailed analysis of the
kind of injuries that can occur in a vehicle collision, such as fractures and
severed ligaments.


Toyota began development of THUMS in
1997, working with Toyota Central R&D Labs. Version 1 was launched in 2002,
followed by Version 2 in 2004, which added face and bones to the model; Version
4 in 2006, with a precise brain model; and Version 4 in 2010, which gained
detailed modelling of internal organs.


Well folks just when you thought things
couldn’t get safer – Thanks to Crash Test Dummies  they are.


Till next time, Remember – all this
research  and technology is useless unless you use it. Buckle up and drive
safe.


Eugene Herbert



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