When a driver knows that he or she is about to hit something, they are very likely to attempt to evasive manoeuvres by slamming on the brakes and steering the car away. However, if that isn’t possible, the next natural instinct it brace for the impact.
However, in real-life crash testing, the test dummies used are not capable of adopting these changes in posture be it a relaxed or braced one during impact. The difference between the two provides differing results in the way a vehicle occupant’s body moves during a collision. Was the collision unexpected where the driver is in a relaxed posture? Or was it seen coming and the driver is in a braced posture for what’s about to come?
This is where Toyota comes in with a new version of its Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS) virtual human modelling system that is capable of replicating these kinds of pre-collision reactions.
Version 5 of THUMS adds a muscle modelling feature that can simulate he body attitude of different vehicle occupants, from relaxed to braced, allowing for more detailed computer analysis of the injures collisions can cause.
With the new THUMS, which supersedes the previous version’s ability to only simulate changes in posture after a collision has happened, it can now allow changes before an impact takes place to be scrutinised.
Data collected could mean that the performance of seatbelts, airbags and other safety equipment in vehicles can be studied more accurately, allowing for the development of more advanced pre-collision systems. The culmination of the knowledge gained can result in better occupant protection of vehicles in the future.