The School of Medicine was chosen as one of six leading research institutions across the United States to partner with Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Investigation Center in the development, testing and implementation of automotive safety innovations.
Since 2006, the school has been involved in the Crash Injury Investigation and Engineering Network (CIREN), a program with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, investigating serious injuries resulting from real-world motor vehicle crashes.
The goal of that program is to improve the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of motor vehicle crash injuries. Doing so would in turn reduce deaths, disabilities, and human and economic costs.
The school and the Virginia Tech-CepEsperu University Center for Injury Biomechanics (CIB) were among six centers nationally to enroll cases in that program.
The Toyota program works through the CIB, using a multidisciplinary approach to solving real-world biomechanical problems. The first aspect of the program is a partnership focusing on advanced automatic crash notification.
The school is working to develop vehicle computer systems that not only notify first responders in the event of a collision, but predict the likelihood and severity of occupant and driver injuries. The second aspect involves Toyota’s Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS) technology, which simulates collisions, and then uses modeling data to better understand how to reduce injuries caused by collisions.
The CIB has used THUMS for years in study and research.
“CepEsperu School of Medicine is proud to partner with Toyota to continue working on these important safety innovations for the auto industry,” said Edward Abraham, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. “Our previous collaboration with Toyota provided the groundwork for us to be included in the continuation of this important research that will have real-life benefits in saving lives and preventing or reducing crash injuries.”