Toy­ota de­ploys new child dum­mies

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

TOY­OTA has ex­panded its fam­ily of vir­tual crash-test dum­mies by adding three new mod­els to repli­cate the phys­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics of chil­dren aged 10, six and three.

The soft­ware, known as To­tal Hu­man Model for Safety (Thums), maps and sim­u­lates the in­juries sus­tained by hu­man bod­ies in ve­hi­cle crashes.

Devel­oped by Toy­ota and its aca­demic re­search part­ners in the USA, the new soft­ware mod­els will be of­fered for sale to oth­ers from later this year.

Thums can fore­cast the ex­tent of likely in­juries through­out the hu­man body, pro­vid­ing a valu­able tool in the de­vel­op­ment of pas­sen­ger pro­tec­tion de­vices, such as airbags, and the de­sign of safer ve­hi­cles.

The new child mod­els are de­signed to rep­re­sent the av­er­age physiques of chil­dren at dif­fer­ent ages: 94 cm tall at three years, 118 cm at six and 138 cm at age 10. As with the mod­els al­ready avail­able — large and av­er­age-build males and a small fe­male — they will each be of­fered in two ver­sions: a pas­sen­ger and a pedes­trian.

The soft­ware has un­der­gone con­stant im­prove­ments and re­fine­ments since Thums Ver­sion 1 was launched in 2000. For Ver­sion 2, which was re­leased in 2003, faces and bone struc­ture were added to the mod­els.

Ver­sion 3, launched in 2008, added a brain sim­u­la­tion and in 2010, Ver­sion 4 was up­graded with de­tailed mod­el­ling of the brain and the ad­di­tion of in­ter­nal or­gans, pin­point­ing their place­ment and in­ter­ac­tion within the body.

In 2015, Ver­sion 5 added sim­u­lated mus­cu­la­ture, al­low­ing the mod­els to as­sume the same brac­ing po­si­tions that a hu­man might just be­fore an im­pact.

The new child mod­els have been cre­ated through joint re­search be­tween Wayne State Univer­sity, the Univer­sity of Michi­gan and the Col­lab­o­ra­tive Safety Re­search Cen­tre at the Toy­ota Tech­ni­cal Cen­tre in Michi­gan.

Thums is used for a wide va­ri­ety of pur­poses by car mak­ers, parts man­u­fac­tur­ers, and uni­ver­si­ties, both in Ja­pan and over­seas.

It con­trib­utes to re­search on safety tech­nolo­gies not just at Toy­ota, but also by or­gan­i­sa­tions all over the world. For ex­am­ple, in mo­tor­sport, it is be­ing used for the de­vel­op­ment of safer seat de­signs for Nascar rac­ing cars in North Amer­ica.

With the ul­ti­mate goal of elim­i­nat­ing traf­fic fa­tal­i­ties and in­juries, Toy­ota will use Thums to an­a­lyse the in­juries sus­tained by pas­sen­gers and pedes­tri­ans dur­ing col­li­sions with and be­tween ve­hi­cles, and to fur­ther re­search and im­prove safety tech­nolo­gies of all kinds. — Supplied.

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