To back up his talk, Reed and his team of researchers are employing unlikely tools. A $220 dollar scanning device, designed to record depth information and commonly used by videogame creators, is capturing body shapes in real time, allowing UMTRI to build virtual humans for vehicle assessment.
“For decades, car companies have been able to test engines and [inanimate] objects. Our work is making body shape and posture of vehicle occupants more realistic,” says Reed.
“In federal rules tests, there are just two dummies tested,” Reed reveals. “And manufacturers are using computer simulations that are effective in predicting what will happen in a dummy test.”