Toyota announces latest version of a “virtual human model”


Call it the smarter crash-test dummy.

The Toyota Motor Corporation announced last week the latest version of a “virtual human model” that would allow for detailed analysis of internal-organ injuries caused by automobile collisions.
Called the THUMS Version 4, the new dummy adds detailed models of internal organs to the previous version’s models of bones and the brain, enabling analysis of injuries to a wider range of internal organs.

According to Toyota, internal organs are particularly vulnerable during collisions, with injuries to them accounting for approximately half of all sustained during automobile collisions.
To develop Version 4, the automaker says it worked with outside research institutes including universities and utilized a “high-precision computed tomography (CT) scanner to make detailed measurements of the internal structure of the human body.”

By creating precise models of various internal organs, as well as the positions of and relations between those organs, Toyota “created a virtual human model containing approximately 14 times more information than the previous version.”

Version 4 can simulate in greater detail how, during a collision, areas of the torso may be affected and internal organs can be damaged.
The use of the THUMS will help researchers develop and improve safety devices like seatbelts and airbags.
Toyota Technical Development Corporation, a TMC subsidiary, plans to begin selling THUMS Version 4 in the autumn of 2010.