According to Toyota, “roughly half” of all drivers involved in an accident take what’s known as defensive action. This means they attempt defensive steering or sudden braking. Other occupants of the vehicle commonly brace themselves. Whether or not bracing occurs can strongly affect the impact on the human body.
When it comes to crash simulation, the challenge is to recreate as real a simulation as possible. Up until now, virtual crash simulation could not account for those last-second bracing actions.
In a major breakthrough, Toyota was able to re-engineer its test software to overcome this serious limitation. According to a press release, Toyota crash test simulation can now “simulate a variety of states from relaxed to braced, thus enabling more detailed computer analysis of injuries caused by collisions.”
This means that safety equipment, such as airbags and seat belts, can be improved as the new data provides better insight into what actually goes on during an accident. In other words, Toyota vehicles just got a lot safer.