Crash test dummies are important for keeping us safe while in a vehicle, but they only cover a small range of body types. But researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute are attempting to fix this through computer models. As Wired reports, by using a variety of scanners — including a $220 device typically used by video game developers — researchers are able to create models to represent a number of body types, that are used to make adjustments to things like airbags and seatbelts. "We're building a representation of a huge range of body shapes and dimensions," UMTRI's Matt Reed told Wired. The models aren't a replacement for crash test dummies, but instead serve as an extra tool for adjusting the safety-related elements of a vehicle — and they have the added benefit of being a whole lot cheaper than an actual crash test.
How computer models work with crash test dummies to make cars safer
How computer models work with crash test dummies to make cars safer/
Researchers are using computer models made with low-cost scanners to help cover a whole range of body types during vehicle crash tests.