VIRTUAL greatly expands the domain of current physical testing in traffic safety. The safety assessment becomes far more robust as it considers the range of diversity in the population at risk.

Societal impact
VT has the potential to optimise adaptive safety systems and reduce female injuries by up to 32% by closing the optimisation-gap between female and male drivers. VIRTUAL test protocols allow assessment of how pre-crash triggered safety systems are optimised to the individual in each scenario. Detailed test protocols will be developed for use in consumer testing (EURO NCAP). This will drive the uptake of virtual testing in safety assessments and thus have an impact on the way safety will be assessed in future. Making assessments more realistic will help to improve the effectivity of any safety measures and finally decrease the number and severity of injuries.

VIRTUAL considers societal trends such as urbanisation by focusing on specific test cases from an urban environment such as public transport or VRU. A broader safety approach will allow the population to build-up trust in the safety concept of novel vehicles. Ensuring safety is key to pave the way for future mobility concepts.

European & economic impact
VIRTUAL will have a major economic and European impact. With new players entering the market, the forthcoming trends towards shared mobility, urbanisation, autonomous driving and connectivity, represent both a challenge for the EU automotive sector to strengthen its technology leadership, as well as a solution to benefit from the global growth.

The project will support the development of safe products that increase competitiveness of European industry and it will focus on European consumer testing. European industry partners are an integral part of the project and the development of the models of the human will be done in close collaboration with vehicle safety testing organisations both in Europe and internationally. VIRTUAL will create a European equivalent to initiatives from Japan and the US, with the added bonus of strong focus on accessibility and usability through the open source approach and through the creation of a Technical User Forum. To facilitate use, the tools and the VT procedures will be user-friendly, robust and computationally efficient.

The effects of the VIRTUAL project will be far-reaching, which will make Europe a beacon in taking the initiative in the area of road safety.

The open source strategy of the VIRTUAL project is the key to ensuring high market penetration of the tools provided. It has been ensured that the results, namely the OpenVT platform with all its contents, will be continuously available after the project had ended.