Crash Testing the Electric Ariya at Fractions of a Second

A behind-the-scenes look at how Nissan is developing safer cars

YOKOHAMA, Japan – 1/1000th of a second. It’s the amount of time it takes for a Nissan crash test vehicle to fulfill its role. At the Nissan Technical Center in Atsugi, Japan, a team of engineers tirelessly work to ensure that Nissan vehicles, including the upcoming all-new Ariya electric crossover SUV, possess a high level of safety in the event of a collision.

Nissan subjects every one of its vehicles to rigorous crash tests that include frontal-, side- and rear-impact collisions, as well as those that simulate accidents when pedestrians are on the road. During the testing procedures, engineers from Nissan’s Passive Safety Evaluation Group measure the force of an impact on the vehicle’s body and structural components, as well as its effects on the driver and passengers via test dummies of various sizes and body types equipped with multiple sensors.

“More than 100 data points are evaluated on the Ariya,” said Gen Tanabe of the Passive Safety Evaluation Group. “Because the upcoming Ariya will be sold in many markets, we will conduct more than 400 tests from the early stages of development to market launch.”

Being a pure EV meant that many of the procedures employed for the Nissan LEAF were adopted for the Ariya, resulting in stricter safety measures than those required by regulations. For example, because the Ariya’s EV battery pack is high voltage, the safety engineers needed to ensure it retained its structural integrity after a crash without the electrodes leaking.

Serving as the basis for developing safer automobiles, Nissan’s Safety Shield concept includes active and passive safety measures to support the safety of vehicle occupants in a variety of scenarios. The overall goal is to prevent collisions where possible and, in case of unavoidable collisions, mitigate damage and injuries.


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