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Toyota Makes Safety Software Openly Available

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Total Human Model for Safety
Photo: Toyota

Toyota announced it will make its Total Human Model for Safety software freely available starting January 2021. The automaker hopes this will help improve vehicle safety as well as help improve the software itself.

When it was first launched in 2000, THUMS was the world’s first software to simulate a virtual human body and analyze how it could be injured in a vehicle collision. The software has been continually updated since and now includes models with a range of ages, genders, and physical attributes, even including bone structure, musculature, internal organs, and brains.

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“Compared to the physical crash dummies commonly used in vehicle collision tests, THUMS is able to analyze collision-related injuries in more detail because it precisely models the shapes and strengths of human bodies,” Toyota says.

As of today, THUMS is used by more than 100 universities, suppliers, vehicle manufacturers, and other research institutions around the world to research and develop safety technologies like airbags and seatbelts. It can also be used to develop vehicle structures that cause fewer injuries to pedestrians.

Toyota even says that organizations that assess vehicle safety, like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, are “currently considering” using THUMS in their future assessment plans.

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The automaker hopes sharing THUMS will not only enable even more people to use the software to further vehicle safety research but also improve the software’s usability as users improve its models themselves.

“[THUMS] is now an essential technology in Toyota’s efforts to develop safety technologies and vehicles,” said Seigo Kuzumaki. “We decided to make the software freely available to enable even more people to use it, and to further enhance vehicle safety across the entire automotive industry and to help reduce traffic injuries and fatalities to create a safer society.”

“We look forward to seeing it used broadly in development to create a future mobility society of automated vehicles and other technologies.”