News article

EU-project VIRTUAL: improving road safety with virtual crash tests

Crash tests are used to improve safety on roads. Therefore the EU now funds a research project to develop virtual methods of crash testing. 

The project called VIRTUAL (Open Access Virtual Testing Protocols for Enhanced Road User Safety), is a research project funded by Horizon 2020, the EU's framework programme for research and innovation. Horizon 2020 is the world's largest investment in research and innovation and has a budget of around 80 billion euros.

The VIRTUAL project will develop virtual testing methods and open source human body models, of pedestrians, cyclists, passengers in vehicles and standing occupants in public transport. VIRTUAL will bridge the gap between virtual testing using HBMs and physical testing with mechanical dummies for safety assessment of new vehicles and products.

VIRTUAL’s long term goal is to jointly provide a HBM that can be morphed and is therefore suitable to represent any human length, gender, age, BMI, posture etc. The HBM will be divided into sections which allows users to refine one body section and then attach it to the full HBM. The models will have active muscle functions. Which makes it possible to simulate what happens to the human body before and during a crash.

VIRTUAL started on 1 June 2018 and will last for four years. Fifteen partners from eight countries are involved in the project. Dutch partners are W2Economics and SWOV. SWOV is mainly responsible for the dissemination. The project’s website was launched recently.

Interested in Human Body Modeling? You might want to attend the VIRTUAL workshop in Berlin on 17 October.