Toyota's THUMS (Total Human Model for Safety), which was first developed in 1997, is now in Version 7. THUMS has been updated to address changes in people's posture when using advanced driver-assist systems, which are becoming more common among modern cars.
Toyota cited that when a person is in a reclined position, the body reacts differently to seat and restraint systems. Even when sitting up, the change in posture can lead to significantly different effects in the event of an impact, causing varying types of injury. The updates allow THUMS to account for these changes, providing a more accurate prediction of the injuries that could result from a crash.
Gallery: Toyota's THUMS Now In Version 7
Toyota's THUMS is a software program that enables computer simulation and analysis of the injuries resulting from vehicle crash impacts. It uses digital human models to simulate crash scenarios.
The latest version of THUMS allows for more precise computerized crash simulations, which help in the development of more effective safety provisions, especially with more cars getting equipped with advanced driver-assist systems. The program can predict the impact on human bones, organs, and muscles, plus it can simulate how people will change their position and brace muscles when maneuvering a vehicle in an emergency, or when safety systems such as emergency braking and steering control kick in.
"Special attention must be paid to ensuring that the pelvis remains in the seat at the time of a crash. This is crucial to avoid the ‘submarine effect’ where the occupant slides out from under the lap belt, risking abdominal injuries. Good pelvis retention helps to limit compression on the spine and thus prevent spinal injuries," said Sabine Compigne, Technical Manager in Toyota's R&D Safety Research operations.
THUMS has already been used in Toyota's vehicle development, and its principles can be applied to other transport fields. such as trains and aviation. Even better, Toyota has provided free access to its know-how since 2021, with the aim of helping to build a society with safer mobility.