3 new child-sized virtual crash test dummies are added to Toyota’s THUMS software for performing simulated crash tests in vehicle safety system development.
Toyota has added three new models to represent children aged 10, 6 and 3 years old to Version 4 of its Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS) virtual crash dummy software. THUMS allows injuries sustained by human bodies during vehicle crashes to be simulated on a computer and sales of the new models will begin from this autumn.
THUMS is able to forecast the extent of injuries sustained throughout the human body, and thus is used in the technological development of passenger protection devices such as airbags and to contribute to improved vehicle safety performance. THUMS is also increasingly being used in the field of motorsports. For example, it has been used by NASCAR (the USA-based National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) to formulate regulations for seat shapes that are better able to reduce the likelihood of rib fractures sustained by drivers as a result of racing accidents.
The ten-year old (138cm tall), six-year old (118cm tall) and three-year old (94cm tall) additions to THUMS Version 4 represent the average physiques of children at each respective age. As with the large male (189cm tall), average-build adult male (179cm tall) and small female (153cm tall) models that are already being sold, the new models will come in two versions ― a passenger version and a pedestrian version ― for a total of six new additions to the THUMS line-up. This expanded line-up takes into consideration the influence of age and physique and allows for a more thorough injury analysis.
Ever since THUMS Version 1 was launched in 2000, continued improvements and refinements have been made to the software. For Version 2, which was released in 2003, faces and bone structures were added to the models. Version 3, launched in 2008, added a brain simulation and in 2010, Version 4 was upgraded with detailed modeling of the brain and also the addition of internal organs and 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 a crash.
The newly launched child-spec models were created as a result of collaborative research between Wayne State University, the University of Michigan and the Collaborative Safety Research Centre located in the Toyota Technical Centre in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
THUMS is used for a wide variety of purposes by automobile manufacturers, 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. The ultimate desire of a mobile society is to advance towards the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and injuries. Going forward, Toyota will use THUMS to analyse the injuries sustained by both passengers and pedestrians during collisions and to further research and improve safety technology of all kinds.