The SubProject 7 “Virtual Testing”  of the 7th FP Project APROSYS (Advanced PROtection SYStems) was aimed at development of a complete and consistent methodology for the implementation of the virtual testing of vehicles for safety improvement. Recall that by Virtual Testing we imply any analytical certification procedure which uses experimental and numerical simulation methods . To achieve this goal, specific models, methods, and tools were developed. One of the final achievements relates to the future use of virtual testing in regulations, not only in the design of vehicles for safety .
The implementation of virtual testing in regulations would be a very complex process involving several steps , and concerning many different actors and stakeholders from car manufacturers to consumer organizations, and from regulatory bodies to experts group in automotive engineering. Among the many envisaged steps, which are being currently structured in a specific roadmap, there is the qualification problem. For both type of accreditation method, either the type approval scheme usual in the EU, or the US style self-certification scheme, a qualification process is required.
To this aim the authors propose to establish a series of benchmarks, the Virtual Testing Benchmarks (VTB), to be used for qualification at two different levels: codes and methods validation, and operators’ qualification. These benchmarks consist of typical crash cases to be tested in the virtual environment: there are several different cases covering different topics of modeling (different element types, material models, contacts…). The code validation can be achieved by giving a well defined problem to be solved, whereas the operators qualification can be achieved giving a less defined framework and leaving more freedom to the operators to generate their own models of the problem.
At least 5 different cases are provided and described in the paper. Verification by means of experimental or theoretical solutions is given. Of course, this will not cover all possible modeling situations but is a first step towards this electronic certification.