Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Ford Increases Virtual Crash Computing Power

Ford Increases Virtual Crash Computing Power, Helping to Ensure Customer Safety

• Ford is increasing its investment in computing power by 50 percent to maximize the number and speed of virtual vehicle crashes, allowing safety engineering and vehicle evaluation teams to get more data, more quickly

• More than 2 million crash test simulations processed in past 10 years

• Actual crash testing is also vital to ensuring the safety of Ford vehicles; Dearborn, Mich., facility has performed more than 20,000 crash tests since 1954, with more than 31,000 crash tests executed globally

Ford Crash Barrier Building Fact Sheet

To facilitate growing demands for virtual crash test data, Ford is increasing its investment in computing power an additional 50 percent this year.

The technology investment will allow Ford to more quickly conduct virtual crash tests – some of which can take up to a full day to run – while also collecting more data. More than 2 million crash test simulations have been run over the past 10 years. The use of advanced computer crash test models also allows Ford safety teams to more quickly evaluate and verify a variety of designs.

Ford recently performed its 20,000th full-vehicle crash test at the Dearborn, Mich., development center. Physical crash tests, combined with virtual crash testing, allow Ford to gather more safety data faster than ever before. The work helps to ensure Ford vehicles meet or exceed industry safety standards in the global markets in which they are sold.

“Today’s vehicles come in a greater variety of body styles, and have more technology and driver-assist features – and many countries have unique regulations,” said Steve Kenner, global director, Ford automotive safety office. “We are able to manage this workload efficiently thanks to our significant investment in technology and the hard work of our teams.”

More than 500 engineers around the world are dedicated to safety at Ford. These teams run thousands of computer simulations before the physical tests are conducted, including frontal impact, side impact, rear impact, roof strength and safety systems checks.

“Ford is committed to designing vehicles that are safe for our customers,” said Nand Kochhar, Ford global safety chief engineer. “In the early stages of vehicle design, we use computer simulations; later we use crash test verification to ensure our vehicles perform as expected.”

The company’s investment in computing power has led to a tenfold increase in the number of virtual crash tests Ford can conduct during vehicle development. The level of detail on the models has increased as well. Safety teams can now run full-vehicle crash simulations with up to 2 million elements, up from half a million just five years ago.

Full-vehicle crash tests
Ford performed its first crash test in 1954. In the 60 years Ford has been conducting crash tests, technology has advanced to allow an increased number of vehicles to be tested. The company’s crash barrier facility can be adapted to perform a wide variety of vehicle crash tests, including frontal, side and rear impact tests where restraints and airbag systems are evaluated. Tests are performed at speeds ranging from less than 20 mph to more than 55 mph.

Vehicle preparation for these physical tests can take from a few days to a few weeks, depending on test complexity. Vehicles are fitted with special mounts, cameras and sensors. On-board systems capture up to 300 channels of information, including crash forces, displacement and pressure.

After the full-vehicle crash test, the team at the crash facility can provide safety engineers a wide range of crash data in under 30 minutes.

History of crash testing at Ford
Ford’s first crash test was performed in 1954. It took 40 years to do the first 10,000 full-body crash tests and only 20 years for the second 10,000 at the facility in Michigan. Globally, Ford has completed more than 31,000 physical crash tests at labs located in Dearborn, Mich., Merkenich, Germany; Geelong, Australia; and Tatui, Brazil.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Oceans: NOAA Declares Third Ever Global Coral Bleaching Event

As record ocean temperatures cause widespread coral bleaching across Hawaii, NOAA scientists confirm the same stressful conditions are expanding to the Caribbean and may last into the new year, prompting the declaration of the third global coral bleaching event ever on record. More>>

Scoop Business: A Decade Of Government Pre-Seed Investment

More publicly-funded science is being commercialised after a decade of government ‘pre-see’d investment, according to an independent review. More>>


Solid Energy: Plan To Shut Unprofitable Huntly East Mine

Solid Energy, the state-owned coal miner in voluntary administration, plans to shut down its unprofitable Huntly East mine and lay off 65 staff after deciding the site stands "no chance whatsoever" of finding a buyer. More>>


E Tū: Merger Creates NZ's Biggest Private Sector Union

E tū has been created by the merger of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union and Service and Food Workers’ Union. It represents more than 50,000 working New Zealanders in industries as diverse as aviation, construction, journalism, food manufacturing, mining and cleaning. More>>


Internet: NZ Govt Lifts Target Speeds For Rural Broadband

The government has lifted its expectations on faster broadband speeds for rural New Zealand as it targets increased spending on research and development in the country's information and communications technology sector, which it sees as a key driver for export growth. More>>


Banks: Westpac Keeps Core Government Transactions Contract

The local arm of Westpac Banking Corp has kept its contract with the New Zealand government to provide core transactions, but will have to share peripheral services with its rivals. More>>


Science Investment Plan: Universities Welcome Statement

Universities New Zealand has welcomed the National Statement of Science Investment released by the Government today... this is a critical document as it sets out the Government’s ten-year strategic direction that will guide future investment in New Zealand’s science system. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news