Toyota has taken the next step in its simulated crash testing procedures, expanding its family of virtual crash-test dummies to include children.
The crash-test software, known as Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS), maps and simulates injuries sustained by human bodies during a collision.
THUMS can forecast the extent of likely injuries throughout the body, providing a valuable tool in the development of occupant protection devices, such as airbags and the general design of safer vehicles.
New dummies to mimic the characteristics of children at different ages - 94cm tall at three years, 118cm at six and 138cm at age 10 - join the large and average-build male, along with smaller female dummies.
Like their adult counterparts, the new child dummies will be offered in two versions: passenger and pedestrian.
The simulated children were created through a collaboration with Wayne State University, the University of Michigan and the Collaborative Safety Research Centre at the Toyota Technical Center in Michigan.
While originally developed by and for Toyota, these software models will be offered for sale to other manufacturers from later this year.
THUMS was first launched as Version 1 in 2010, with faces and bone structure added to the simulator dummies in a Version 2 update in 2003.
2008 saw Version 3 add brain simulation and the Version 4 upgrade added detailed modelling of the brain along with internal organs.
Last year in 2015, THUMS Version 5 allowed the models to simulate the same bracing positions that a human may assume right before a collision.
Toyota uses THUMS to analyse the injuries sustained by passengers and pedestrians during impacts with and between vehicles, and to further research and improve safety technologies of all types.
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