Ford Working on First Digital Child Crash Dummy
"We study injury trends in the field, and we know that traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people from age 1 to 34,” said Steve Rouhana, Senior Technical Leader for Safety, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “We want to better understand how injuries to younger occupants may be different.”
The work is the next step in Ford’s decade-long research to build a sophisticated and detailed computer adult human model, with body parts and organs painstakingly replicated so scientists could better understand what happens to the adult body in a crash.
“Our restraint systems are developed to help reduce serious injuries and fatalities in the field, and they have proven to be very effective,” Rouhana said. “But crash injuries still occur. The more you know about the human body, the more we can consider how to make our restraint systems even better."
“A child’s body is very different from an adult’s. Building a digital human model of a child will help us design future systems that offer better protection for our young passengers.”
However. digital models don’t take the place of crash dummies, which measure the effect of forces on the body. Ford says the digital model is constructed component by component – brain, skull, neck, ribcage, upper and lower extremities, etc. – with extensive research included on each part.
“This is just the beginning,” said Rouhana. “We’re taking the first step toward building a future child digital human body model.”