Watching Tesla Model S And BMW i3 Go Through Crash Tests Is So Frustrating

Interesting Engineering

Cars go through plenty of design processes and quality checks to ensure that the vehicle is as safe as it can be. One of the most important tests, though, that is done to evaluate the safety level of a car are the impact or crash testings. In this video, a BWM i3 and a Tesla Model S are subjected to multiple impact tests and are graded according to how the human dummies, seated both at the driver and passenger seats, were affected by the crash. Both the Tesla and BMW models fell short of the testing company's criteria for safety awards. The Tesla Model S seem to cause more, overall damage as the seatbelt didn't hold back the dummy enough and allowed it to hit the airbag harder. The BMW i3, on the other hand, was considered good on the front overlap impact test but also failed in other criteria.

Crashworthiness tests don't always have to use real cars. Many vehicle manufacturers nowadays use computer simulations to perform crash testings. They use sophisticated software to intricately model the cars which are discretized or divided into small elements. After doing so, they are subjected to computer-simulated crash testings. Because the whole test or experiment is done virtually, many of the crash factors like speed can be specifically controlled. Computer-simulated crash tests are initially validated to ensure accuracy and stability in the results. In fact, virtual impact tests are sometimes more ideal compared to real crash tests as they are significantly cheaper and can be done as much as quality control requires. Unlike the limitations of real crash tests where the expensive model car cannot be used twice to conduct a different test. Moreover, virtually modeled human dummies are also included in computer simulated crash tests to evaluate a car's safety level. The most popular computational mechanics' technique used in virtual impact testings is called the Finite Element Method.