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Wednesday, January 18, 2012  
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Lexus Safety Innovations Influence Auto Industry
Digital crash-test models used to develop safety features.

Lexus digital crash-test modeling has led to breakthroughs in safety innovation across the automotive industry. That’s what happens when you focus on ‘Engineering Amazing.’
An ordinary crash-test dummy generates 119 points of data. That sounds pretty impressive, right? By comparison, a Lexus digital crash-test model generates two million. This groundbreaking technology is used to diagnose the impact of a collision on the entire human body including bones, joints, soft tissues and vital organs.
Lexus digital crash-test models have led directly to the development of safety features such as seats that can lessen whiplash and dual-chamber airbags.
Rear-end collisions account for 30 percent of all crashes, and whiplash is a common injury suffered by passengers involved in that type of accident. Using technology gleaned from the digital crash-test models, Lexus was able to analyze how a passenger’s vertebrae and soft tissues in the neck are affected by a rear-end collision. These findings led to the creation of Whiplash Injury Lessening seats, which move with passengers in the front of the vehicle to absorb some of the impact energy in certain types of rear-end crashes. This safety feature decreases the distance between the head and headrest, thus reducing excessive head movement and lessening the severity of injury.
Breakthroughs have also been made in airbag technology. Traditional airbags can deploy at speeds up to 100 miles per hour, which can cause injuries to passengers. Enter the dual-chamber airbag from Lexus. While a traditional airbag is flush, a dual-chamber airbag has a seam down the middle, which provides space for the nose and other delicate facial features. The multiple surfaces disperse the physical impact of a collision to the shoulders and upper torsos of passengers to lessen the threat of airbag related injuries.
The driver’s side airbag uses an advanced deployment approach with sensors that detect the severity of impact and control how fast the airbag inflates. This feature helps reduce injuries caused by airbags inflating too quickly.
In addition to its own vehicles, Lexus innovations have also led to safety improvements across the automotive industry. Twenty other automotive companies have licensed the Lexus proprietary digital crash-test technology. After all, the ultimate goal is not just to protect Lexus drivers, but all drivers. By ‘Engineering Amazing,’ Lexus helps keep everyone safer.


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