Feedback

5 things you didn’t know about crash tests

Leow Ju-Len
02/09/2016

toyota crash test score singapore

Did you know a single test dummy can cost $1.3 million? Neither did we. Here’s what else we found out…

Higashi-Fuji, Japan — Crash tests. They’re just an excuse for engineers to smash things to see what happens, right? Well, yes.

But they’re also a fascinating part of a carmaker’s work that has yielded concrete, life-saving results — Toyota says traffic fatalities crept up in Japan during the 1980s as the vehicle population climbed, only to fall again once stricter crash test standards were introduced.

When Toyota let us into its high-security Higashi-Fuji Test Center to watch them smash a new Prius, we learnt a whole bunch of interesting things. Namely:

They’re more violent than necessary
Well, sometimes, anyway. Existing standards call for a 64km/h crash, but Toyota now does its own 90km/h smash. Why? Because engineers wanted to “level up” their procedure, says Seigo Kuzumaki, the assistant chief of Toyota’s safety tech office. Nice.

90kmh toyota crash test

They sound like a bomb going off
There’s a huge crunch of metal and glass as the test rig collides with the car, but a split-second later an even louder sound hits your ears: the deafening explosion of the airbags going off.

It literally sounds like a bomb blast, because that’s what it is.

A crash test dummy costs S$1.3m apiece
Yep, you read that right: $1.3 freakin’ million. That’s the price for the most expensive THOR dummy, made by Humanetics. It’s designed to measure side impact forces. The more common HYBRID III dummy costs “only” 18 million Yen, or about S$237,000.

thor singapore

The technical centre we visited has 80 dummies, including 15 of the expensive THOR ones. That’s too much money for dummies like us to imagine.

Some carmakers smash more than one new car every day
At least, the big ones do. Toyota told us they destroy four new vehicles a day on average, at technical centres around the world. Kinda heart-breaking, but kinda comforting to know.

There are dead bodies involved
Not actual ones (although carmakers did use cadavers in the past), but virtual ones. Toyota modeled human bodies using data from cadaver testing to create THUMS (Total HUman Model for Safety).

toyota thums child

Basically, THUMS is a piece of software that lets researchers conduct virtual crash tests on virtual people, including a pregnant woman, complete with foetus. Slightly creepy, but it’s apparently so good that 24 other carmakers licence THUMS from Toyota.

READ MORE
Inside Toyota’s secret Higashi-Fuji Technical Center

toyota higashi fuji research development centre

Tags:

crash-test higashi-fuji safety thums TNGA Toyota

About the Author

Leow Ju-Len

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CarBuyer – Revolutionizing The Online Car Marketplace In Singapore

Buy Used And New Cars Online
Start your car buying journey with CarBuyer as we connect you seamlessly to the industry’s best CaseTrust-SVTA accredited car dealerships. As a one stop car online portal you can now buy your new ride, be it a pre-owned car or a brand new car from trusted dealers all over Singapore, all in one place. Our ever expanding listing of quality and covet-worthy cars, new and second hand, from both owners and trusted car dealers, will leave you spoilt for choice. Refine your search by vehicle type, registration year, price, mileage, engine type, transmission, annual depreciation value and more to find the car that best suits your needs, taste and lifestyle. You can even search for your car by dealer or directly by owner.

Sell Your Car In An Instant With Confidence
We all know how selling a car in Singapore can be a daunting task especially for a first time car seller; from trying to get a valuation for your car, finding a trusted dealer, to getting the best quote on your vehicle. CarBuyer understands the hassle and even the costs involved and have as such partnered with Huawei to develop a FIRST in Southeast Asia AI car valuation tool that is able to provide a car’s resale value at the snap of a finger. Backed with a consortium of trusted CaseTrust-SVTA accredited car dealers you can be assured that you are getting the best price for your vehicle and do not have to worry about any hidden costs.

The Ultimate Car Shopping Experience Online
CarBuyer platform is the first of its kind to be backed by Huawei’s Artificial Intelligence and cloud computing, enabling it to be able to offer users transparency and enhanced security, all with the one aim of enhancing customer experience. So come on over to buy and sell used cars online at the best prices at CarBuyer Singapore. Connect easily with dealers in real-time via our online video call feature, or schedule a test drive when you’re ready. Have some questions? Get them answered instantly with our chatbot moderated by our responsive team. Stay in the loop with our car-related tips, reviews and news. Learn the ins-and-outs of your car, as well as global and Singapore’s car updates at your own pace.