The new facility allows simulations for all known crash test scenarios, meeting the latest Euro NCAP requirements, with a specific focus on electric cars.
Safety is the priority for all Volkswagen Group’s cars. That’s why ŠKODA has opened a new state-of-the-art crash test centre. The lab, located at the Polygon test centre in Úhelnice near Mladá Boleslav, is designed to replicate all known crash test scenarios, and features a separate area for handling electric cars.
The centre is equipped for tests that adhere to the recently-introduced European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) guidelines, which came into force at the beginning of 2020. LED lighting systems and cutting-edge camera technology allow for high-quality recording of all crash tests and also result in significant energy savings. The new lab will be able to assess the passive safety of both ŠKODA models and other Volkswagen Group brand vehicles.
Focus on electric vehicles
“Our new crash lab allows us to simulate potential accidents even more comprehensively and realistically, thus creating an important technical prerequisite for further improving our cars’ high level of safety”, explained Christian Strube, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Technical Development.
What’s more, the facility is equipped to carry out crash tests on electric vehicles. And with its overall capacity set to increase further over the coming years, the new crash lab will see ŠKODA assume even greater responsibility within Volkswagen Group.
The new crash lab is more than twice the size of the previous test centre - the crash test hall itself is over 180 metres long. Given the increasing demand for testing on electric vehicles, a separate hall has been specially equipped for this purpose.
The heart of the lab features an electric drive system that either accelerates two vehicles with a total weight of up to 3.5 tonnes to a top speed of 65 km/h, or a single vehicle (weighing up to 3.5 tonnes) to a top speed of 120 km/h over the entire length of the track.
All crash scenarios
Other testing equipment in the lab includes the ultramodern ‘Flying Floor’ test sled, which accelerates the cars attached to it for the all-important side pole-impact crash test; the static rollover simulator; barriers for offset frontal impact - known as the small overlap test; a barrier vehicle for the rear-impact; and car-to-car testing tools.
All equipment and tests are compliant with the new Euro NCAP requirements and cover all current test scenarios. A load-cell wall measures the forces arising during impact, while in a separate hall equipment has been installed to make electric vehicles safe in the event of unexpected incidents involving damaged batteries from crash tests. All data is recorded digitally.
Nine adult dummies and four child dummies act as the occupants of the test vehicles. The dummies are positioned in the cars using an optical device, which in turn uses static photogrammetry to check that they are seated correctly.
20 static and 30 on-board high-speed HD cameras record the results of the crash tests. For optimum image quality, LED lighting systems producing 100,000 lux are used. In addition to higher-quality recordings, this technology also results in energy savings of 40% and high levels of thermal stability.