Quality Magazine

Quality Innovation: Video Overlay Technology May Make Cars Safer

February 1, 2004
From the Olympics to the automotive industry, a new technology enters the marketplace.

The Dartfish overlay technology is being incorporated into MTS’ Safedesign Insight video analysis and validation software that overlays the results of safety test videos with CAE simulations for side-by-side comparison. Photo: MTS Systems Corp.


A technology that thrilled fans viewing the Olympics on television last winter is being marketed to the U.S. automotive industry as a way to make cars safer.

MTS Systems Corp. (Eden Prairie, MN), a global supplier of testing products has signed the exclusive rights to use patented digital video overlay technology from Dartfish USA (Atlanta) for automotive safety engineering applications. Through the agreement, Dart-fish's overlay technology will be incorporated into MTS' software products to help automobile manufacturers better calibrate virtual product designs with real-world safety tests.

Dartfish's technology is used in the sports training market and was seen by millions of viewers during several world-class sporting events. For example, it was used by broadcasters during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games to blend the performances of competing downhill skiers onto a single video clip to show subtle differences in technique and pinpoint where in the competition one skier pulled ahead of another.

Victor Bergonzoli, president for Dartfish, says that despite the differences between uses, the "evolution" of Dartfish's technology into the automotive testing market is a logical one. "The integration of our technology with their software products will have an immediate impact, as it will eliminate the subjective technique currently employed by engineers to calibrate virtual models with physical safety tests," says Bergonzoli.

Initially, MTS incorporated Dart-fish's technology into its Safedesign Insight video analysis and validation software. Safedesign Insight Software is a visual engineering and validation software package that enables users to correlate computer-aided engineering (CAE) crash models and physical test results. It gives new perspectives on modeled and physical crash results by enabling the overlay of CAE models and video images to immediately pinpoint where modeled and physical results differ. Integrating the presentation of CAE and test results in this manner accelerates the model correlation process. The Safedesign Insight software package enables users to validate occupant and structural simulations, minimize improper test setups, reduce the overall number of tests needed to run and maximize the value obtained from both CAE and test data.

"This technology allows our customers to get the most out of each test they perform, increasing productivity and reducing costs," says Doug Marinaro, vice president of MTS Software and Consult-ing. "And, most importantly, our customers' use of this application will ultimately lead to the design and development of safer vehicles."



New Software for Virtual Development

Safedesign Insight is one of two new products MTS has released that it says will "improve product development productivity by automating test setup process and synchronizing CAE models with test data. The second product is Safepass 201, which the company says was used by Ford Motor Co. to automate and eliminate delays from a FMVSS201, side impact protection certification process.

"The introduction of these new products supports MTS' new vision for the role of physical testing in virtual product development," says Marinaro. "As the power of CAE continues to accelerate, it is only limited by the accuracy of the computer-generated models engineers create. This issue can be addressed by providing tools that make it easy to calibrate models with real-world tests."



Sidebar: Quality Specs

1. The video overlay technology blends two images for comparison. Its first usage in the auto industry will be in Safedesign Insight software.

2. The software gives a new perspective on modeled and physical crash results by overlaying CAE models and video images to pinpoint where modeled and physical results differ.

3. Integrating the presentation of CAE and test results in this manner accelerates the model correlation process and provides the insight into evaluation methods for confidence in both modeled and physical test results.