Honda R&D Americas, Inc., today debuted an all-new Automotive Safety Research Facility that features seven advanced safety testing laboratories, including the world's most sophisticated high-resolution crash barrier block and the world's first pitching crash test simulator. The 78,000 square-foot facility located on the campus of Honda R&D Americas in Raymond, Ohio, represents an investment of $30 million in advanced safety testing facilities that will play an integral part in Honda's global safety research and development efforts.
"This is an important advancement of our local R&D capabilities," said Hirohide Ikeno, president of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. "This new Ohio facility will play an important part in Honda's global research efforts."
The crash test facility is capable of conducting a wide variety of both real world and simulated crash tests including full frontal, angled barrier, side impact and offset crash tests, along with simulations of various tests related to the performance of safety systems such as airbags and seatbelts. Additional capabilities of the Automotive Safety Research Facility include laboratories for airbag testing, interior impact testing, pedestrian safety testing, and structural strength testing of roofs, side doors, seatbelt anchorages and child seat anchorages.
A key feature of the facility is the world's most sophisticated crash barrier block, a 100-ton moveable cube with sides that can be configured for different tests, allowing for quicker and more efficient test cycles. The four-sided block incorporates a high-resolution crash test barrier with 450 load cells (90 5" x 5" cells and 360 2.5" x 2.5" cells), that allows Honda engineers to understand in greater detail the distribution of crash forces for further improvements to the company's Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure. The lab's test track uses hydraulic power and sophisticated electronics to accurately launch test vehicles at speeds ranging from 2.5 to 60 mph. Side impact tests can be conducted in both the 90-degree and 27-degree configurations.
The facility also boasts the world's first crash test simulator with pitching capabilities for more accurate simulation of real world crash dynamics. The four pistons on the pitching system can translate up and down as much as ten inches which can then pitch the test sled at a rate of up to 0.25 degrees per millisecond to a maximum angle of 15 degrees. This pitching motion simulates the lifting of a vehicle's rear end in a frontal collision, allowing engineers to gather data on the performance of safety systems such as airbags and seatbelts that more closely reflect real world performance.
Honda has a long record of industry leadership in the development and application of advanced safety technology. Research conducted at the new Ohio facility will play a critical role in the further development of Honda safety technology and the evolution of Honda's 'Safety for Everyone' concept, a comprehensive approach to vehicle safety that seeks to provide top-level occupant protection for all Honda and Acura vehicles regardless of size or price, along with reduced aggressivity toward other vehicles and improved safety for pedestrians.