Project: Virtual Testing for Extended Passive Safety: VITES (TRL)

Reference: S0049/VC

Last update: 25/06/2004 12:11:48


The project objectives are to:

* analyse available accident databases to understand the distribution of accidents and injuries with respect to speed and angle of impact so as to select relevant scenarios;
* undertake parametric studies of impact speed and direction;
* analyse numerical and experimental results to determine the sensitivity of occupant protection to certain variables and thereby identify any gaps in test procedures;
* propose and demonstrate a validated virtual test procedure; and
* co-ordinate the activities of work package 3.


Current regulatory and consumer tests for cars are based on a small number of precisely defined tests using a 50th percentile dummy seated in an average driving position. As a result, there is a concern that car designs may be optimised to protect their occupants under this limited range of test conditions, with the result that occupants may not be as well protected in other, non-tested conditions including lower severity crashes.

One solution to the problem would be to increase the number of tests, but it is considered impractical to demand a sufficiently wide range of full-scale crash tests to account for the full range of potential crash conditions. This matter may, however, be addressed by virtual testing.

Virtual testing of vehicles using computer models is already an essential part of the design process. So much so that it is unlikely that a vehicle would pass the current frontal and side impact regulations, or receive a high EuroNCAP rating, without the manufacturer carrying out a lengthy process of development including virtual testing. Virtual testing is therefore an existing and rapidly developing technology.


TRL Limited
Crowthorne House, Nine Mile Ride, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 3GA
+44 (0)1344 773131

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £32,348.00

Actual start date: 31 July 2001

Actual completion date: 30 April 2004


G3RD-2000-00312. Virtual Testing for Extended Vehicle Passive Safety (VITES). Mid Term Assessment Report 2001 to 2002 (EC Project GRD1-2000-25655)
Author: VITES Partners
Publication date: 20/09/2002
Public Domain
Source: Contact

G3RD-2000-00312. Virtual Testing for Extended Vehicle Passive Safety (VITES). Final Technical Report 2001-2004 (EC Project GRD1-2000-25655)
Author: VITES Partners
Publication date: 31/03/2004
Public Domain
Source: Contact

PR/SE/914/04. Virtual Testing for Extended Vehicle Passive Safety (VITES). Final Report
Author: TRL Ltd
Publication date: 21/10/2004
Source: Contact

Summary of results

  1. The project delivered a report proposing virtual tests that could be performed in conjunction with, and validated against, regulatory tests on any given model of vehicle. In addition, a demonstration procedure was produced, including all the steps and requirements for acceptation and application of a virtual test procedure.

    The procedures developed within the project enhance the reliability of virtual testing and improve the quality of methods and products. The status of virtual testing in support of current regulated test procedures has been enhanced. This project contributes towards the acceptance of virtual testing as part of "normative" procedures for passive safety evaluation. Steps needed for acceptance of virtual testing in regulations have been taken into account.