Daimler turns to simulation to improve crashworthiness

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Daimler has used simulation expertise in achieving crashworthiness performance targets on its Smart Fortwo passenger vehicle, with the help of Altair ProductDesign. Following the successful release of the new generation of the smart fortwo in Europe 2007, the latest published results from NHTSA and IIHS show that this small premium vehicle also passed the US ratings with outstanding results.

Altair ProductDesign was chosen as a development partner for external crash, occupant safety, stiffness and durability. Within a project structure consisting of smart, Altair ProductDesign and a partner for physical testing, Altair assisted in the development of the body-in-white structure, closures and internal safety systems (e.g. seat belts, airbags etc.) to achieve compliance with regulations and ratings for two vehicle variants (Coupê and Convertible).

'Our team is very proud of our contribution to the outstanding performance that Smart has delivered,' said Dr Lars Fredriksson, operations director at Altair ProductDesign Germany. 'This project is a demonstration of our unique simulation-driven vision for product development, which combines our expertise and technology in a creative environment.'

In order to handle variants and load cases in modern vehicle development within required costs and time limits, Altair ProductDesign utilised a very high level of process automation, process optimisation and data management throughout the project. This approach allowed, on average, 50crashworthiness CAE assessments to be performed each week.