Computer aided engineering is a routinely used technology for the design and testing of road vehicles, including the simulation of their response to an impact and the prediction of the risk of injuries sustained by the potential victims. But, so far, the release of a vehicle on the market still depends on the verification of the product compliance with safety standards through a series of type approval physical tests.
To increase car industry competitiveness by reducing the burden of this type approval test system and to improve road safety by raising the quality level of protection measures, recent initiatives have been taken by both industry and public authorities, to promote the use of alternative ways (e.g. virtual test through numerical simulation) to check vehicle compliance with safety standards.
The main objective of this project was the implementation of virtual testing (VT) procedures in existing safety standards by consolidation of advanced VT technologies, analysing the ensuing costs and benefits and looking for the improvement of homologation procedures as well as setting the base for improvement of integrative safety.
The achievement of this objective implied among others, that the accuracy of the simulation models and procedures can be assured and rated independently of the modelling process, software tools, computing platform and the performing organisation (end user). Procedures that consider uncertainties due to different real tests results (depending on the lab performing), input parameters dispersion, etc. were taken into account in these processes.
In this project, the future potential of Virtual Testing (VT) was investigated not only to fully substitute Real Testing (RT) in regulations but also to define procedures for fully virtual testing including biomechanics validation of real and virtual test devices and to evaluate transferring the process of VT to new advanced safety systems (active and pre-crash safety systems).
Procedures were defined to introduce and implement Virtual Testing in the regulations, in order to reduce Real Testing. Furthermore, physical tests were defined which could be (partly) replaced by virtual tests. Also evaluation criteria were defined, to check and evaluate the simulation models and related procedures.
The use of Virtual Testing will result in a reduction of physical testing that needs to be conducted to get approval or certification. Several workshops were organised to transfer and use the knowledge gained in this project. Stakeholders were among others: car manufactures, regulatory bodies, suppliers, etc.
Introduction of Virtual Testing in order to reduce Real Testing (physical tests), and hence shortening the time-to-market of products.
Numerical models (virtual testing) also generate substantial costs. It is therefore important to know the costs induced by real testing versus virtual testing.
Innovating for the future (technology and behaviour): A European Transport Research and Innovation Policy