Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials have developed a more realistic method of simulating cars crashing, potentially saving manufacturers thousands of pounds with each test.
The new model can accurately predict the damage to joints between body parts, which could rupture and cause the vehicle to collapse on impact, potentially injuring the passengers.
To prevent this, crash tests are compulsory for any vehicle before it hits the road. However, these are also very expensive, so manufacturers have tried to use virtual models as much as possible. Previous simulations, however, could not account for the joints and seams between body parts, reducing their accuracy and limiting their usage. The new research should significantly improve this.