- R.F Wittmeyer
- August 28, 2017
In 2015, CNET, a technology and consumer electronic report journal, reported that real crash test dummies have become a thing of the past. Last we discussed crash dummies, we introduced the idea of THOR, a sophisticated sensor system similar to crash dummies. Because of the technologically-based world we live in, the car industry will transform to using these digital crash tests for safety crash testing. However, currently actual car crash dummies remain for testing car safety, but digital dummies inhabit the car industry’s mind.
Why The Car Industry Needs Digital Crash Safety Technology
If you think about it, a crash test dummy looks like us. So, it seems possible that they produce better safety results. However, in reality, it’s not enough.
According to CNET, most crash-test dummies can only detect “impact data for about 20 points on the body.” Scott Gayzik, an associate professor of biomechanical engineering at Wake Forest School of Medicine, says that “conventional dummies generally have between 55 and 200 sensors that collect data while with these computational models there’s almost an infinite number of points that can provide data on the effects of an impact.” Of course, this seems like a lot. And Gayzik acknowledges that. However, he states that “computerized models also have a higher degree of biofidelity – performing like bodies do in real life – and they’re variable; we can ‘morph’ them to represent different body shapes and sizes.” In other words, you would not need to create a crash test dummy for each body type. Instead, we can duplicate the efforts but just adjusting the computer model.
But Gayzik isn’t the only one who noticed the additional benefit of using digital car-crash test. Other state that digital crash-test dummies operate as “computational human body models, anatomically accurate computer figures built from MRI, CT and other medical scanning techniques to simulate how the body’s bones, organs and connective tissues react to external objects and forces.” The end result would mean that digital crash dummies could determine how a muscle or tissue could react in a car accident.
The Benefits of Digital Crash Dummies
In addition to more accurate detection of body injuries, digital safety systems help consumers in multiple ways. The digital platform of the crash-test dummies allows safety inspectors to reset crash scenes multiple times without having to clean-up or pay additional costs such as gas. Additionally, since the models exist only in computers, the body models have indefinite life spans. The crash dummies would not need to be replaced. Currently a crash dummies lasts for about 10 years. Lastly, the cost of running a car crash simulation is minimal. A physical test costs $30,000. When adding together the cost savings, the car industry can save a lot of money.
Digital crash-test technology can dissect portions of the car. This reveals where a collision may impact a car and its passengers. The crash technology allows safety inspectors to “peel parts of the virtual car away, looking at how well (or not well) each part of the vehicle responds to the crash. If there are weak spots, areas can be redesigned and tests rerun—without a whole new car.”
The car industry may not be using digital car crash-test dummies exclusively, but the industry does hope to eventually get to that point. Then again, that was the goal 2 years ago, and maybe it will just be a goal yet again in 2019.
How They Help You
When you need to call a personal injury attorney, like the attorneys at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd., you have experienced severe injuries from your car accident. If the car industry is able to produce safer cars with better safety systems, your injuries will become less severe. Although cars continue to improve with safety features, too many people get hurt on the roads. Although seat belts and air bags continue to be the best safety features, imagine what they can invent next. With the cost savings from the digital tests and better results, the car industry becomes better situated to help you stay safe.