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autoviva2010-12-15 11:57:36

Ford Focus crashes 12,000 times on behalf of safety

Ford Focus crashes 12,000 times on behalf of safety

In order to secure that the new technologies designed to protect occupants in crashes are working properly, Ford safety engineers in the U.S. and Germany have been heavily testing the 2012 Ford Focus. In fact the all-new global car has already been crash tested more than 12,000 times both in real as in virtual worlds.

Debuting in markets early next year, the new Focus has been undergoing exhaustive testing of occupant and full-vehicle computer simulations. Thanks to these simulations, which have become very realistic, Ford has been able to reduce the number of physical vehicle crash tests.

“Developing the Focus to meet the global safety standards has resulted in improved crash performance to help protect occupants in crashes,” said Matt Niesluchowski, Focus safety manager. “Ford’s safety team had a head start in working together around the world, which helped tremendously in ensuring the new Focus meets or exceeds a complex web of global safety regulations.”

Thanks to the thousands of computer aided engineering (CAE) crashes and simulations engineers were able to test hundreds of designs. After the virtual simulations the physical crash tests were conducted in order to verify and validate the computer simulations to ensure every internal and external requirement is met.

“We are using more computer simulations than ever to optimize the designs of all the components that make up a vehicle to help enhance safety,” Niesluchowski said. “The complexity of crash tests, with hundreds of parts and systems interacting, still requires physical testing to validate those simulation results.”

The new Focus will be featuring new safety innovations that will include Ford’s next-generation driver-front airbag with enhanced chest protection technology. Thanks to a reconfigured curve-shaped tether system that pulls in the lower section, the new airbag creates a “pocket” to help lessen the impact of the airbag on the driver’s chest and ribs in frontal crashes.

The side airbags will be featuring a unique shoulder vent technology that stays open and reduce pressure for smaller occupants who typically benefit from reduced forces. In the case of taller occupants, whose shoulders block the vent, they can benefit from the higher pressures.

For the first time in a Ford model, the Focus will feature front passenger airbags with adaptive venting technology that diverts some of the gas from the air bag inflators through vents outside of the airbags. The level of venting is managed by the control module and is based on seat position.

The new passenger airbag has been designed to enhance head and neck protection by better matching deployment force with occupant size.

On the new Focus Ford used an innovative “tailor rolling” process to produce ultra-high-strength steel used to reinforce the B-pillar. This process allows the thickness of the steel sheet to be varied along its length so the component has increased strength in the areas that are subjected to the greatest loads.

Focus Gen.3 [III]Focus Gen.3 [III]




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