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Honda Leads Industry-First Development of Visualization Technology to Advance Study of Crash Test Simulations

In its constant pursuit of designing and building safer vehicles for all road users, Honda is pioneering the use of a groundbreaking new three-dimensional, crash-simulation visualization technology based on DELTAGEN, the leading high-end 3D visualization software by 3DXCITE (formerly known as RTT).

The technology takes the output from a commonly-used advanced simulation software package, known as LS DYNA CAE, and renders the event in a three-dimensional presentation. The visualization technology, which was first designed for use in the animation and film industry, enables Honda engineers to more easily study the results of a crash simulation, test different design approaches and implement design changes with greater speed and efficiency.

Honda engineers are able to manipulate the rendering, rotate the view in any direction and strip away parts of the vehicle to isolate a section or component for more thorough analysis. The crash barrier can also be rendered transparent in the virtual environment so the immediate effects of a crash can be viewed from multiple points of view, including the driver’s seat.

The visualization software was co-developed by Honda R&D Americas, Inc., the North American research and development arm of Honda, and 3DXCITE.

“With this technology, we have gained the potential to improve the quality of decision making and reduce the time required for finalizing a vehicle design by greatly increasing the ease of communicating and understanding the results of a crash test simulation,” said Eric DeHoff, Technical Leader for CAE in the Crash Safety Group of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. “This tool will promote a more complete understanding of vehicle safety design amongst all engineers involved in our vehicle development process.”

Honda engineers challenged developers at 3DXCITE to integrate the DELTAGEN software with Honda’s existing LS-DYNA CAE crash simulation data to deliver a detailed 3D rendering of the simulation. Honda engineers provided detailed parameters of the tool and oversaw its development.

“This technology would not have become a reality without the vision and leadership of Honda engineers,” said Tom Celusnak, Solutions Architect for 3DXCITE.

“Past efforts at creating this kind of highly realistic rendering involved weeks of concentrated effort by engineers and rendering specialists and would result a single simulation with fixed viewing parameters,” added DeHoff.  “With this new technology we can create and manipulate the simulation at the push of a button, and we can do it in hours instead of weeks.”

Honda R&D has been utilizing LS-DYNA non-linear crash simulation technology since 1998 as part of its new-model development process and has used the technology to help develop new safety designs, including its next-generation Advance Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, now being applied to every new Honda and Acura vehicle, and the innovative one-piece hot-stamped door stiffener ring first applied to the HRA-developed 2014 Acura MDX.  Today, as a result, Honda has more vehicles achieving an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating than any other automaker, including the Honda Accord sedan and coupe, the Civic sedan, Odyssey minivan, Acura RLX sedan and Acura MDX sport-utility vehicle.

2013 Toyota RAV4 Fails Safety Test

The 2013 Toyota RAV4 put off the test as long as it could, but, in the end, that wasn’t enough because it still failed the “small overlap” frontal crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

According to this article on Forbes.com, “The IIHS says during the crash test the driver’s side of the RAV4’s cabin “was seriously compromised by intruding structure, and the dummy’s left foot was trapped by crushed and buckled sheet metal in the footwell.” What’s more, the crash dummy’s head only glanced the front airbag before sliding off to the left and hitting the dashboard while the steering column moved over seven inches to the right, leaving little protection to the virtual driver’s chest. Ouch.”

Ouch indeed.

An editor at Kelley Blue Book says this is actually encouraging because it means that safety groups and automakers are working harder than ever to protect drivers and their passengers.

“It’s encouraging to see both the IIHS and automakers working even harder to protect drivers and passengers,” says Karl Brauer, senior director of insights for Kelley Blue Book. “As more accident data comes in, it uncovers which types of vehicle crashes are the more dangerous, allowing IIHS to create more effective tests that simulate real-world crashes. This inevitably requires automakers to up their game in vehicle design and safety technology…”

What do you think? Does the fact that the redesigned (improved?) 2013 Toyota RAV4 failed this safety test actually make you feel safer?

2013 Toyota Camry Fails New Crash Test

Many consumers and critics see the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry as head-to-head rivals…and for good reason. However, there is one recent safety test that proved the 2013 Honda Accord safer than the Toyota Camry as the Camry failed to receive a “Top Safety Pick-Plus” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety while the Accord earned such honors (the Camry earned a “Top Safety Pick” minus the “Plus”).

The sticking point for the Toyota Camry was that it earned a “Poor” rating for the “small overlap” or “narrow offset” safety test, which simulates a car striking a pole or post on the outer quarter of the hood (most reinforcement is in the middle of the hood).

The 2013 Honda Accord passed the small overlap test with flying colors; the only vehicle sold in the United States to do so.

“We want vehicles to be as safe as possible for everyone,” said Tod McLaughlin, general manager of Apple Valley Honda in Wenatchee. “Certainly, there’s no joy for us that the Camry failed the narrow offset safety test, but it is definitely something people will want to consider as they weigh whether to buy a Toyota Camry or a Honda Accord.”

As you make your pros and cons lists of whether to buy a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, no doubt that safety will be near the top of those lists. So be sure to take note that only one of these vehicles earned the “Top Safety Pick-Plus” from the IIHS.

Read the complete article here.

For your opportunity to check out the critically acclaimed and consumer approved 2013 Honda Accord, head to Apple Valley Honda, Sims Honda, or Northwest Honda dealerships!

2013 Honda Accord is Only Moderately Priced Midsized Vehicle to Earn “Good” Rating on New IIHS Crash Test

According to a new “narrow offset” front-end crash test instituted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2013 Honda Accord is the only moderately priced midsized vehicle sold in the United States to earn a “good” rating.

The Suzuki Kizashi also received a “good” rating, but Suzuki recently decided the Kisashi would no longer be sold in the U.S.

The new IIHS crash test involves a front-end crash where the car strikes a thing object (like a pole or tree) in the outside 20% of the hood; this is important because as it stands, now, most of the reinforcement is in the middle 60% of the car.

“About 10,000 deaths a year are in frontal crashes and about one-fourth of those are ‘narrow offset,’ ” says IIHS spokesman Russ Rader.  ”We think it is important to look at how people are actually dying in real-world crashes.”

The fact that the 2013 Honda Accord did so well on the IIHS test surprises few people.

“The 2013 Honda Accord is an incredible vehicle,” said Tod McLaughlin of Apple Valley Honda in Wenatchee. “It has been getting rave reviews for style, safety, technology, gas mileage, and now this. Honda did its research and new this test was coming and showed an anxious concern for the safety of Honda drivers and passengers.”

It is interesting to point out that the moderately priced vehicles performed better than the luxury vehicles subjected to the narrow offset test. Of the 18 moderately priced vehicles tested, 13 of them received an “acceptable” or “good” rating. Of the 11 luxury midsize sedans tested, only three passed the test. The Acura TL (Honda’s luxury brand) was one of the luxury vehicles that earned a “good.”

At the end of the article it addresses how Toyota’s vehicles did so poorly. Toyota responded that the IIHS tests well above the federal requirements but it will now respond to the challenge. I think that contrasts very interestingly with Honda who had been following the IIHS test development very closely “for some time” and took the initiative to improve its vehicles before the test. What do you think? Does this say anything about the values of the different automotive companies?

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