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  3. Passive Safety and THUMS

Passive Safety and THUMS

Vital protection you need when an accident happens
Passive safety equipment such as seat belts and airbags, as well as a car’s body structure, are crucial to minimise the impact of a collision. We pursue real-world safety without compromise through continuous analysis and innovation.

Real-world safety

In an accident, will the seatbelts keep you in place? Will the airbags protect your head? How will the impact affect your body? To ensure real-world safety, we analyse actual accidents and incorporate that knowledge into our passive safety developments. Of course, improved or new technologies can’t be tested on people. And traditional crash test dummies only match the weight and size of human bodies – not their complex nature, or the way people instinctively move in dangerous situations. We have met this challenge by creating the virtual human body simulation model THUMS (Total Human Model for Safety). 

THUMS – world’s most advanced virtual human model

THUMS allows us to understand the real injuries people might suffer in a traffic accident. This virtual dummy includes aspects of the human body, such as bones, muscles and internal organs. It can be a sitting or walking man, woman or child, of different ages. Such complexity and flexibility make THUMS one of the most advanced systems to simulate and analyse injuries caused by external forces. We are constantly improving THUMS. In 2015 a feature was added to simulate a driver or passenger instinctively bracing themselves before an accident; movements which influence potential injuries. 


Making our technology available to all

THUMS can be used for a wide range of applications, even in non-automotive areas. As a responsible manufacturer aiming to create happiness for all, we made THUMS accessible to everyone free of charge. It is used by other major car makers such as Audi, Volvo, Renault and Daimler, as well as by automotive components and parts suppliers. In addition, NASA has used it in the design process for Orion, a spacecraft that led the way for taking man to Mars. It has also been put to good use to help design safer racing cars, bedsore-free beds, rackets, American football helmets, and shoes that prevent injuries.  
“Compared to the physical crash dummies commonly used in car collision tests, THUMS allows analysing collision-related injuries in more detail, because it precisely models the shapes and durability of human bodies while taking into account variables such as gender, age groups, body sizes and postures. THUMS can help improve safety and comfort in a wider array of applications. This is why Toyota wants to spread the use of THUMS even beyond the automotive industry by making it freely available.”
Tjark Kreuzinger, Senior Manager TME R&D Safety Research

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