Published on March 14th, 2024 | by Subhash Nair


Mercedes-Benz Does The 1st X-Ray Crash Test

Mercedes-Benz pushes the boundaries and finds new ways to learn about automotive safety in 2024.

In the realm of automotive safety, innovation is always happening even in this day and age. Mercedes-Benz, has long been at the forefront and they’ve manage to move the game forward once again by conducting the world’s first X-ray crash test involving a real car. This groundbreaking feat, conducted in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics (EMI), introduces a new era in understanding and enhancing vehicle safety dynamics.

Picture this: a thunderous collision, a high-speed crash barrier meets a C-Class saloon head-on at 60 km/h. What sets this apart is the presence of a linear accelerator functioning as an X-ray camera suspended above, capturing every intricate detail of the impact. The result? Unveiling previously unseen internal deformation processes with unprecedented clarity.

Mercedes-Benz road safety crash test with x-ray camera
Als erster Autohersteller röntgt Mercedes-Benz einen Crash-Test. Partner beim Röntgen-Crashtest ist das Ernst-Mach-Institut der Fraunhofer Gesellschaft. Bei dem Crashtest sind erstmals alle Vorgänge in Fahrzeugstrukturen und Dummys sichtbar. Ein leistungsstarker Linearbeschleuniger erzeugt dabei bis zu 1.000 hochauflösende Bilder pro Sekunde.Mercedes-Benz is the first car manufacturer to carry out an X-ray crash test. Its partner in the X-ray crash test is the Ernst Mach Institute of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft. In the crash test, all processes in vehicle structures and dummies are visible for the first time. A powerful linear accelerator generates up to 1,000 high-resolution images per second.

The marriage of high-speed X-ray technology with crash testing unveils a treasure trove of insights. From deciphering internal deformations to analyzing the behavior of dummies, each frame offers invaluable data for enhancing vehicle safety standards. Mercedes-Benz, with its unwavering commitment to innovation, reaffirms its position as a vanguard in automotive engineering.

Central to this breakthrough is the utilization of ultrashort X-ray technology powered by a linear accelerator. With photon energies reaching up to nine megaelectron volts, this technology penetrates through vehicle materials, providing a glimpse into the heart of crash dynamics. What’s more, with up to 1,000 images per second, no detail goes unnoticed.

Amidst the technological marvel, safety remains paramount. Rigorous radiation protection measures ensure the well-being of personnel involved. From dosimeters monitoring radiation exposure to robust physical barriers, every precaution is taken to uphold safety standards.

For Mercedes-Benz, safety isn’t just a feature; it’s a philosophy deeply ingrained in its ethos. From the pioneering crash tests of yesteryears to the recent public demonstration of electric vehicle safety, each milestone underscores the brand’s unwavering commitment to “Real Life Safety.”

At the heart of this innovation lies the partnership with Fraunhofer EMI. Specializing in fast processes in experiments and simulations, Fraunhofer EMI’s expertise complements Mercedes-Benz’s pursuit of excellence in safety research. Together, they forge ahead, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in automotive safety.

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