An instrument for safety research is being shared for the greater good. Toyota will be making its Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS) software freely available from January 2021, the Japanese manufacturer has announced. THUMS is currently is use for vehicle safety research by more than 100 vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, universities, research institutions and others, both in Japan and overseas.

Developed with Toyota Central R&B Labs from 1997, THUMS was the first virtual human body model software when it was launched in 2000, and enabled the simulation and analysis of injuries caused in vehicular collisions. The software has since evolved to add different models to include different genders, ages and physiques that include skeletal structures, brains, internal organs and muscles, according to Toyota.

In Version 4, virtual child dummies were added to the simulation line-up, while THUMS 5 added the ability to simulate occupants in different postures prior to a collision. Although Version 5 arrived in 2015, the virtual child dummies were added to Version 4 in 2016 and still continued to be a front-line offering, and these followed the original Version 4 in 2010 with the addition of internal organs and their placement and interaction within the body, and the third-gen version in 2008 which added a detailed model of the human brain.

Virtual models for pedestrians and occupants

Compared to physical crash test dummies, Toyota says that THUMS is able to analyse collision-related injuries in greater detail because it precisely models the shapes and durability of human bodies. Computer-based simulations also enables repeatable analysis of various different collision patterns, while greatly reducing development lead times and costs associated with crash testing, Toyota said.

“We decided to make the software freely available to have more people use it, to further enhance vehicle safety across the entire automotive industry, and to help reduce traffic injuries and fatalities to create a safer society,” said Seigo Kuzumaki, fellow at advanced R&D and engineering in Toyota.

“We look forward to seeing it applied broadly in development sites and others, envisioning a mobility society with automated vehicles and other technologies, moving forward,” Kuzumaki added. Software license sales through JSOL Corporation (Tokyo) and ESI Group (Paris) will come to an end this year, and this will be followed by the start of free access to THUMS from next year.