THUMS (Total Human Model for Safety) is a virtual human body model software program developed by Toyota for computer analysis of human body injuries caused in vehicle collisions. In a bold move, the company has made the model freely available, in the hope this will aid development of safer vehicles around the world.
Designed to aid research and development into vehicle safety technologies and developed in cooperation with Toyota Central R&D Labs, the company said THUMS was the world’s first virtual human body model software when it launched in 2000.
Since then, and up until the latest Version 6 was released last year, the system has continually evolved to add a range of models with different genders, ages and physiques that include skeletal structures, brains, internal organs and muscles.
Toyota said that compared with 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 durability of human bodies. Conducting simulations on computers also enables repeated analysis of a range of different collision patterns, while it can dramatically reduce development lead times and costs associated with collision testing.
THUMS is currently used in vehicle safety research by over 100 vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, universities, research institutions and others, in Japan and overseas. It is being used to research and develop many different safety technologies, such as seatbelts, airbags and vehicle structures, that help reduce injury risks in vehicle collisions with pedestrians.
Toyota noted that vehicle safety assessment organizations are also currently considering the use of THUMS for virtual testing in their future assessment plans. It expects that making the model freely available will not only enable a greater number of people to use it in their vehicle safety research, but will also improve the usability of the software, as users make improvements to the model themselves and share the results with others.