Toyota is making strides in making cars safer for passengers to be in. Aside from physically crashing cars with crash test dummies inside in the name of safety, Toyota has also been using a software-based system that enables them to simulate how a human body would react in a crash.
And now, they are making it free to use towards better safety in mobility. Recently, the automaker announced that they will be making its Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS) software freely available starting in January 2021. First launched by the automaker in 2000, it enabled simulation and analysis of injuries on the human body during vehicle collisions.
THUMS, which is now on version 6, has a range of available models with different genders, age groups, as well as physiques. The models also feature a skeletal and muscular system, along with internal organs like the brain, lungs, and heart that can mimic how a body would react in an accident.
Unlike physical crash test dummies that only rely on hardware, THUMS enables engineers to actually see collision-related injuries in more detail thanks to the high-tech software. In addition, using THUMS can also cut down on costs and reduce development lead times as engineers can simulate crash-related injuries on a computer simulation first before testing it physically with crash test dummies.
“Since the very first launch of THUMS in 2000, we've been making ongoing improvements and avidly working to better reproduce the human anatomy and expand the variations of models. It has now become indispensable technology to Toyota's efforts in developing safety technologies and vehicles. We decided to make the software freely available to have more people use it, to further enhance vehicle safety across the entire automotive industry, and to help reduce traffic injuries and fatalities to create a safer society,” said Seigo Kuzumaki, member of the Advanced R&D and Engineering Company at Toyota.
Currently, THUMS is being used in vehicle safety research by over 100 vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, universities, research institutions, and others in Japan and across the globe. From testing safety technologies such as seatbelts and airbags to helping engineers test vehicle structures that aid in reducing passenger injuries, THUMS has presented itself as a viable tool in vehicle safety.
With the high-tech software set to be freely available starting next year, Toyota is expecting that this will enable a greater number of people to use it in vehicle safety research. Moreover, Toyota also expects that usability of the software will improve overtime as users can make improvements to the models themselves and share the results with others.