Mercedes-Benz Performs First-Ever X-Ray Crash Test

The technology captures 1,000 images per second, providing a view of the vehicle interior and a dummy's response to impact.


Mercedes-Benz, together with the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics (EMI), successfully conducted the first-ever X-ray crash test on a real car.

The test, carried out at EMI's research crash facility in Freiburg, Germany, used a linear accelerator to produce high-speed X-ray images. The innovative approach allows for a detailed visualization of previously invisible deformation processes, enhancing the precision of safety analyses.

On board was one SID II dummy on the left-hand side facing the impact. This is a test specimen with a female anatomy, specially designed for side impact tests.

"The Mercedes-Benz X-ray crash sets a milestone in the development tools of the future," said Markus Schäfer, a board member and CTO at Mercedes-Benz Group AG. "With a direct view into the hidden interior, it can help to draw important conclusions for the further improvement of vehicle safety. Mercedes-Benz thus confirms its role as a safety pioneer in automotive engineering.

The technology enables the capture of up to 1,000 images per second, a significant improvement over traditional X-ray methods, providing a clear and detailed view of the vehicle's interior and the dummy's response during the impact. This level of detail offers valuable insights into the effectiveness of safety components and the potential for further enhancements.

"The successful X-ray crash provides us with valuable insights to further optimize our technology for capturing previously inaccessible information. Fraunhofer EMI is thus consistently pursuing its strategy of using high-speed X-ray imaging to make dynamic processes visible," said Dr. Malte Kurfiß, head of the Crash Test Centre at Fraunhofer EMI.

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