This project is a collaboration between Toyota's CSRC, George Washington University, and Virginia Tech.

NHTSA has developed its THOR-NT frontal impact crash test dummy, which includes more biofedilic features for improved assessments of neck injury, chest deflection, and lower leg forces among others, in a vehicle crash. To help contribute to the ongoing development of THOR and to help academia and industry best prepare for how to utilize this advanced dummy, Toyota, George Washington University and Virginia Tech will partner to develop a detailed Finite Element (FE) computer model of the dummy. This THOR FE model will be a tool to provide a deeper understanding of THOR, its applications and mechanisms and to compare its sensitivity to other systems, such as Toyota’s THUMS and real-world crash test data analysis.


This study of the THOR-NT crash test dummy and development of the FE model tool will be done in two parts between George Washington University and Virginia Tech. George Washington University will create the detailed 3D modeling of the THOR-NT crash test dummy. First, through CT scanning of the entire physical crash test dummy, complete 3D computer-aided design (CAD) data of the dummy will be created. This CAD data will form the foundation of the FE geometry which will be used in the computer simulations of the model.


Virginia Tech will perform material property testing of all key parts of the THOR-NT crash test dummy through destructive tests. These material properties will be applied to the FE geometry created by George Washington University and then studied and validated on a component level. With the detailed FE geometry and validated material properties, the FE model will form a virtual representation of the THOR-NT dummy, enabling the visualization of internal structure responses of the dummy while providing important information about the distribution of stresses, loads, and displacements during a vehicle crash.


The final step, performed by Virginia Tech, will be a full validation of the FE model to testing data and a variation study of the sensitive parts and materials. The final, validated model will be made available for study by industry and academia.

The three-year project will be divided into three main phases:

Phase 1: 3D Geometry Creation through CT-scanning and FE modeling tools and Material Testing through destructive material testing of key components and parts.

Phase 2: Regional assembly and validation of the THOR dummy components (Head/Neck, Lower Extremities, Torso, etc.)

Phase 3: Complete FE model assembly and validation of the full FE model to test data, and variation study.