Tuesday 25 October 2016

Anatomy of a crash: the millisecond snapshots of collisions

Close-up on car crashes

Published 27/04/2016 | 02:30

Our shot illustrates exactly what happens in a crash.
Our shot illustrates exactly what happens in a crash.
The damage caused during a crash.
The extent of the damage can be seen.
Massive forces are at play in a crash.

These are the dramatic pictures of several car crashes in north Dublin this week.

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But don't worry; no one was injured and, despite appearances to the contrary, everything was under control.

The unusual exercise was undertaken to find out just exactly what happens in a crash - millisecond by millisecond.

And it was possible thanks to an ingenious piece of technology, called Kabzy (as reported here last week), in devices on board the cars.

There were several crashes: side impact, head-on collisions and a rear-end shunt. The fastest car involved was travelling at 48kmh.

The idea was to replicate real-crash scenarios and detail exactly what happened in the lead-up to them.

The special technology, created by Dubliner Michael Flanagan whose development we reported on last week, means the sequence can be broken down into minute stages for a better understanding of what goes on - and why.

Also, within seconds of the impact, a "collision detection" alert and its exact location were notified on corresponding Kabzy apps on phones.

And for the stationary cars on the receiving end of the punishment, the words 'lateral collision' lit up the apps - as did the speed of the impacts.

Dublin Fire Brigade played a major role in helping to stage the exercise at its training unit in Marino on Sunday which started at 10am and finished at 3pm.

Mr Flanagan told 'Independent Motors' afterwards: "We have a huge amount of data. The Kabzy device tells us down to milliseconds what went on. We have 20 pieces of data per second to show us what happened."

The plan now is to display this in a special video as they can feed the data into their system and reproduce it in 3D.

The crashed cars will be used by Dublin Fire Brigade for new recruits to learn about cutting people out of crashed vehicles etc.

The cars involved are old and can't be sold on (taxis etc with up to 300,000 miles) and some have engine problems.

For each crash, one car was stationary and another was pulled at speed and crashed into it.

The focus of the event was, in detailing the anatomy of an accident, to show insurance companies, fleet operators, etc the value it could be for them in monitoring vehicles in all sorts of scenarios and situations. And to broaden general awareness of the massive forces at play.

Michael added: "We got even more data than we expected and now we're hopeful we can present this to insurance companies and fleet operators to show how beneficial the system can be."

Indo Motoring

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