Toyota has recently added three new models to represent children aged ten, six and three to Version 4 of its Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS) virtual crash dummy software. This software enables injuries sustained by human bodies during vehicle crashes to be simulated on computer, and sales of the new models will reportedly start from this autumn.
THUMS is capable of predicting the extent of injuries sustained throughout the human body, and hence, is used in the technological development of passenger protection devices such as airbags. It also contributes to enhanced vehicle safety performance and is now increasingly being utilized in the field of motorsports. For instance, it has been used by NASCAR to formulate regulations for seat shapes that are better able to decrease the likelihood of rib fractures sustained in motorists as a result of racing mishaps.
The ten-year old (138cm tall), six-year old (118cm tall) and three-year old (94cm tall) additions to THUMS Version 4 embody the average physiques if children at each respective age. For 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 pedestrian version and a passenger version—for a total of six new additions to the THUMS lineup. This newly expanded lineup takes into account the influence of physique and age, and enables for a more thorough injury analysis.
Since THUMS Version 1 was unveiled in the year 2000, continued enhancements and refinements have been made to the software. For Version 2, which was launched in 2003, faces and bone structure were added to the models. Meanwhile, Version 3, which was rolled out in 2008, added a brain simulation and in 2010, Version 4 underwent an upgrade with detailed modeling of the brain and the addition of internal organs and their placement and interaction within the body. Last year, Version 5 added simulated musculature, enabling the models to assume the same bracing positions that a human might prior to a crash.
The newly unveiled child-spec models were developed as a result of collaborative research between the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and the Collaborative Safety Research Center located in the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
THUMS can be purchased through the Tokyo-based JSOL Corporation and ESI Japan. It is utilized for wide-ranging purposes by automakers, parts manufacturers, and universities both in Japan and abroad. It contributes to research on safety technologies not only at Toyota, but also by organizations worldwide. With the global mobile society’s desire to advance towards the target of eliminating traffic fatalities and injuries, the Japanese automaker will employ THUMS to analyze the injuries sustained by both passengers and pedestrians during crashes with and between vehicles, and to further research and enhance safety technologies of all kinds.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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