MUARC joins new EU-project: improving road safety with virtual crash tests

MUARC has joined a new EU-funded research project that will develop virtual methods of crash testing to improve road safety.

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 (HBMs) 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.

MUARC will contribute to VIRTUAL through expert advice on vulnerable road user behaviour, as well as crash and injury patterns, including from rich, real-world observational data sets, which will inform the development of the new HBMs.

VIRTUAL’s long-term goal is to provide HBMs that can be adapted to represent any human: across age, gender, 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, making 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. The project’s website was launched recently.