Forget crash tests, JP Research India studies real road accidents and proves cars’ safety quotient
JP Research India Pvt. Ltd. is a company that strives to mitigate accidents and injuries to road users by assisting government agencies, automakers, auto component manufacturers and local auto safety organisations through accident & safety research & training.
To be brief, the company has expertise in on-spot & retrospective crash investigation and in-depth accident data collection; crash reconstruction and determining mechanism of injury; Road Safety Audits, data analysis and reporting, and Road Safety Awareness Programs.
Technical mumbo jumbo aside, to understand what and how the company helps in making vehicles and roads safer, we visited their prime office in Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) and even carpooled with them to a crash site and put on spectacles to observe all the engineering stuff they get going there.
The company has created zones in which they operate with help from local law enforcement, ambulance and towing services. Right now JP Research has branches in Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), Pune (Maharashtra) and Ahmedabad (Gujarat), and around the respective cities they have virtual borders within which they conduct investigations. Of what? Real road accidents.
They get notified by the aforementioned local entities when a road accident occurs involving a motorised vehicle, in JPRI’s zone. A team of investigators from the company deploy immediately to the crash scene.
There, after police formalities and first aid / ambulance duty (if necessary) is carried out, the team enters into research mode and starts examining the crash site and the vehicles involved. They also talk to the people in and around the scene to note down their perspectives.
They determine the nature of accident – the ignition point or simply put, the cause that started realigning the fate of those involved and create the entire incident, to result in an unruly and devastating situation. They note down numerous parameters about the scene, vehicles and persons involved, to start making statistics out of every tiny detail.
Heading back to the office, they start reconstructing the accident using PC Crash software application, to create a three dimensional déjà vu copy of the scene, so that more could be learnt from it, and it is a far better way to share the event than just a theoretical report.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRv09kGRfAs[/youtube]The software also helps determine velocities of the vehicles involved and aids in uncovering various factors of physics (in approximation) that can be accurately studied only in controlled crashes.
Apart from generating various kinds of reports and statistics on vehicles and road conditions in each accident, JP Research also studies injuries sustained by occupants and pedestrians during the accident. Injury correlation is a key aspect in understanding how safe the car really is to occupants, and JPRI collects data on all kinds of injuries and how they could’ve been inflicted.
So without establishing a crash test facility and creating near natural collisions with sample cars and sensor studded dummies, JP Research learns how road accidents happen in real life and understands them better than those who drove into it. Not ten or twenty, over 300 accidents per year, which is over 1,100 thus far.
So how does this benefit any of us? All accidents and their experience is converted into computer data and fed into a system or a database they created, that goes by RASSI – Road Accident Sampling System India.
RASSI is a database system created by JP Research India to centrally store all the data they collect and information about road accidents they wish to share among the consortium of safety researchers and auto manufacturers who subscribe to the system. RASSI stores over 450 variables relating to infrastructure, injury and accident reconstruction.
The system was created after 3 years of pilot study involving passenger car crash analysis study performed with support from insurance companies in Chennai, since 2008. They started developing an analytical database taking inspiration from German In-Depth Accident Study (GIDAS) of Germany, National Automotive Sampling System – Crashworthiness Data System(NASS-CDS) of USA, and Co-Operative Crash Injury Study (CCIS) from UK.
After expanding the database with increasing variables collected by developing a robust methodology, OEMs were keen to come forward and support the research program, and thus a consortium began to taketh shape, in 2011.
Over the years, more auto and component manufacturers joined RASSI taking interest in understanding the roots of safety, and began implementing safer designs in their products. The consortium now includes Robert Bosch GmbH, Nissan Motor Company, Daimler AG, Renault SAS, Hyundai Motor Company, Honda Cars India, Autoliv, Inc., and JP Research Inc. (USA).
JP Research India is expanding its presence in a rapid pace. Soon other metros like Delhi, Kolkata, and Bengaluru will receive them and contribute to enlarging the sample space and understanding road accidents on a national level. And to benefit from this, more auto industry giants will join the consortium, sooner or later.