Honda Safety Testing

In May 2000, Honda opened its indoor omnidirectional Real World Crash Test Facility at the Tochigi R&D Center, Japan — the world’s first indoor all-weather, vehicle-to-vehicle crash test center.


The facility makes car-to-car crash testing possible in all directions, regardless of the weather. Honda also announced goals for the development of new crash safety technology.

Honda is building on safety advances such as its G-Force Control Technology, designed to reduce injuries and assure a safe survival space for vehicle occupants in the event of an accident. The highly crashworthy car bodies Honda has developed with this technology pass Honda’s demanding testing, withstanding a fixed barrier full frontal collision at 55 km/h and a frontal offset collision at 64 km/h. As a result, the company is now selling a wide range of cars built to this high safety standard.

As a result of years of studying traffic accidents, Honda has progressed to analyzing issues that cannot be resolved simply with fixed barrier tests, which can only simulate car-to-car collisions involving vehicles of the same weight. Therefore, the company has independently designed a complex variety of car-to-car crash tests that emulate approximately 60% of fatal traffic accidents.

To attain a new standard in crash safety, Honda has established a new test – a 50% frontal offset collision with a 2-ton car, with both vehicles traveling at 50km/h as the initial target and 55 km/h as the second step. Honda plans to use the new indoor, omnidirectional crash test facility to conduct this similarly demanding test as an essential new part of the company’s ongoing effort to produce vehicles that can withstand real-world traffic accidents.

Developing technology that reduces injuries resulting from collisions is only one aspect of traffic safety. Honda is also continuing its research and development in active safety technology, which helps prevent accidents. A particular case is HIDS (Honda Intelligent Driver Support), which utilizes “smart” technologies to alleviate the driver’s workload during high-speed freeway driving. HIDS is implemented in the second iteration of Honda’s ASV (Advanced Safety Vehicle). In addition, Honda’s multifaceted traffic safety research program includes driver education, an essential part of the company’s comprehensive effort to make driving safer.
[Source: Honda press release]

In October 2003, Honda R&D Americas Inc announced details of a new Automotive Safety Research Facility featuring 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 7,200 square-meter facility located on the campus of Honda R&D Americas in Raymond, Ohio, represents an investment of US$30 million in advanced safety testing facilities that will be integral to Honda’s global safety research and development efforts.

President of Honda R&D Americas Hirohide Ikeno said the new facility is essential to Honda’s local and worldwide R&D capabilities.

“This new Ohio facility will play an important part in Honda’s global research efforts,” he said.

The crash test facility can run various real-world and simulated crash tests, including full frontal, angled barrier, side-impact, and offset crash tests, along with simulations of multiple 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, internal impact testing, pedestrian safety testing, and structural strength testing of roofs, side doors, seatbelt anchorages, and child seat anchorages.

A vital feature of the facility is the world’s most sophisticated crash barrier block, a 100-tonne 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). This allows Honda engineers to understand the distribution of crash forces in greater detail 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 4 km/h – 95 km/h. 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 fundamental 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 lifting 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 actual world performance.

Honda has a long record of industry leadership in developing and applying advanced safety technology. Research from 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.