A team of engineers and scientists have succeeded in duplicating a car crash scenario down to the very last detail by using the Earth Simulator supercomputer system, one of the fastest in the world.

The simulation contains details that had been previously unobtainable, researchers from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology in Yokohama and the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said.

The feat is likely to pave the way for cutting automobile production costs by reducing the number of real crash simulations and shortening development time for new vehicles, officials of the two groups said.

Under present simulations, engineers and scientists divide a car into 1 million mesh cells and spend 38 hours calculating the impact of a crash with 16 central processing units.

But the Earth Simulator, located in Yokohama, is capable of finishing the calculation in 35 hours with its 512 CPUs — even when the number of mesh cells is jacked up to 10 million.

The crash simulation is based on the premise that a car traveling 55 kph crashes head-on against a wall. The simulation can show fine details, such as the warping of the front suspension, the officials said.

The agency said it plans to put more data into the simulation, including vibrations, noise, fuel consumption and other factors to fully simulate a car crash.

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