Which is better Porsche or Bugatti

Lego crash: Porsche against Bugatti

Can a computer simulation calculate a collision so precisely that crash tests are superfluous? Computer specialists and crash professionals collided two Lego cars. First digitally, then in the ADAC technology center.

  • Computer simulations are becoming increasingly important in vehicle construction

  • ADAC experts check computer performance with two Lego cars

  • Real crash tests are still necessary

The Porsche accelerates rapidly, after a few seconds it collides with the parked Bugatti Chiron. It crashes. And then Lego bricks fly through the crash test hall of the ADAC technology center in Landsberg. Successful experiment, Lego cars destroyed. Two years after the first Lego crash *, together with the technology magazine c't, we accelerated plastic blocks again. The protagonists: a Porsche 911 GT3 RS and a Bugatti Chiron.

And not just for fun. Because such simulations can be used to draw valuable conclusions for vehicle development. Especially when you compare their results with a real crash. This is exactly what was done in this Lego crash: the computer predicted how great the damage would be to both vehicles. And this prediction was then checked by the ADAC experts. In this way, the programs can be refined - and that ultimately serves security.

The initiator of the experiment was the IT and technology magazine c't. IT specialists from Dynamore fed a software program with the size, weight and position of all the Lego bricks installed in the two cars. At the High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) Then a supercomputer took over. Then the result was projected into the so-called "cave", a cube-shaped room. Its walls serve as screens and enable a three-dimensional and accessible representation of the simulation.

300 halogen spotlights for 1000 images per second

For a real crash in the ADAC crash facility in the technology center in Landsberg, the preparation was just as time-consuming as for a test with a "big one": eight cameras - each recording up to 1000 images per second - and various action cams were supposed to record how the Lego-Porsche collides with the Lego-Bugatti.

Both crash vehicles were covered with the usual grid stripes and an official crash ID: SI3019PB01 stands for "Side Impact KW 30 2019 Porsche and Bugatti first attempt". 300 halogen spotlights à 1000 watt provided the necessary exposure of the high-speed images.

Then the time has come: the Porsche pops with it 60 kilometers per hour on the B-pillar of the standing Bugatti, it cracks and splinters, hundreds of parts are flying around - the Bugatti is completely torn in two, the passenger cell of the Porsche is destroyed. The driver dummies are buried under the plastic particles, and neither of them "survived".

Conclusion: a real crash remains indispensable

The result is spectacular: almost no stone was left unturned. Surprising for the IT experts: the damage is much greater than the computer simulation had calculated in advance. Conclusion of our vehicle safety expert, Andreas Rigling: "Simulations in the development process are absolutely important because they save resources. However, the comparison also shows very clearly: The real damage pattern is significantly more difficult than calculated in advance in the simulation, so the real crash is indispensable. "

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