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Animation changing car crash tech

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Posted: 6 am ET

Here's a case of when animated cars in the movies are changing the way real cars are built. Honda is pioneering the use of three-dimensional, crash-simulation visualization technology using software originally designed for the animation industry to build safer cars.

The car safety technology makes it easier for Honda engineers to study the result of a crash simulation, test different design approaches and make changes faster and more efficiently. Using the software, engineers can rotate the view in any direction and can remove parts of the vehicle to isolate a specific component or vehicle section, so they can analyze it more thoroughly or to see the immediate effect of a car crash.

The software, which is actually two computer programs integrated together, speeds up the process of improving a car's safety.

"Past efforts at creating this kind of highly realistic rendering involved weeks of concentrated effort ... and would result in a single simulation with fixed viewing parameters," said Eric DeHoff, a technical leader for the software in the Crash Safety Group at Honda R&D Americas, Inc. "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 has more cars awarded a Top Safety Pick+, the highest rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, than any other automaker. To see the most recent cars to receive that award, read 5 latest cars to earn top safety ratings.

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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July 23, 2014 at 9:23 am

I'm in the market for a new car.
What current model will give me the best chance of survival if I should be hit head-on by a drunk driver who is driving 55 miles per hour.