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article imageAutomakers look to Crash 'Virtual Humans'

By rob13     Apr 16, 2007 in Technology
A group of nine international automakers are looking for a few good 'virtual people' to act as crash dummies.
Researchers have been asked by DaimlerChrysler AG, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., Honda Motor Co., Hyundai Motor Co., Nissan Motor Corp., PSA Peugeot-Citroen, Renault SA, Takata Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. and TRW Inc. to develop computer programs that involve crashing 'virtual humans' in order to help these automakers design better cars, trucks and SUV's.
The Global Human Body Models Consortium LLC believe these computer simulations will be better than crashing test dummies into walls and other other objects.
This group of automakers was set to announce the use of these computer simulations at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress in Detroit. This international consortium of automakers have asked 40 research groups to send proposals so 5 test centers can be set-up to study crash effects on different parts of the body. Two of these centers will be studying full body crash effects.
These companies believe $18 million will need to be spent in developing these test sites, and these companies plan on sharing the cost of building these sites. This group of automakers is also hoping additional funding will come from the federal government and Michigan Economic Development Corp.
This consortium hopes to have the first 6 computer models up and working by March 2011. These first 6 simulations will involve small, medium, and large 'virtual' men and women.
Computer crash simulations are all ready being used by Ford Motor Company in developing vehicle interiors and restraint systems. The Ford simulations involve the use of a mid-sized adult male, but the nine group of international automakers hopes to speed up the development of simulations for different body types.
Even though these computer models are expected to bring in very sophisticated data, this automakers consortium still plans to back any data from these simulations up with physical test simulations.
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