Virtual Crash Dummies: safer cars, including for non-average males of 1.75 m

The EU consortium VIRTUAL, consisting of research institutes, universities, insurance companies and parties from the automotive industry, has developed a virtual crash test dummy: the Human Body Model VIVA+. To this day, dummies used in regulatory crash tests have almost exclusively the size and constitution of an average man. However, the Human Body Model VIVA+ can be adjusted with practically all types of body characteristics, including the female physique. Female vehicle occupants have a significantly higher fatality risk and a higher risk of getting seriously injured compared to male occupants. The Human Body Model VIVA+ should contribute to safer cars for all types of occupants.

Current EU regulations: crash tests with male dummies

Astrid Linder, project leader of the VIRTUAL project: “Current EU regulations still require crash tests to be done with dummies based on a male of average height and weight. Females are represented by just a small 5th percentile dummy. Assessments with an average female anthropometry are not included in regulations or consumer information tests. In other words: the safety of cars is not geared to female occupants.”

Open access

The VIRTUAL project has the objective to improve road users’ safety by providing procedures and open access tools, including cost benefit Analysis tools, to assess the benefit of new safety systems. The open platform has been established to host the Open Source Human Body Models and simulation tools and provides guidelines on how to implement new scenarios in test procedures as a complement to physical testing of road users’ safety assessment.

VIRTUAL bridges the gap between physical and virtual testing. Its baseline models include average female and male vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users – pedestrians and cyclists – as well as public transport users.

Meeting on 7 and 8 June

The VIRTUAL consortium will meet in The Hague on 7 and 8 June. Project coordinator Astrid Linder will then be available for interviews.

The VIRTUAL consortium

International experts are part of the VIRTUAL-Consortium, including automotive engineers, systems engineers, economists, insurance specialists and safety researchers.

The VIRTUAL project is funded from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement no. 768960.

More information

SWOV, Patrick Rugebregt +3170  3173 318 / +316 123 65 471 Project website: