New IIHS Side-impact Test Flunks Mainstream Midsize Sedans, Wagons

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions New IIHS Side-impact Test Flunks Mainstream Midsize Sedans, Wagons

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions New IIHS Side-impact Test Flunks Mainstream Midsize Sedans, Wagons

  • New IIHS Side-impact Test Flunks Mainstream Midsize Sedans, Wagons

  • Jonah Jorgenson

    Member
    August 4, 2022 at 3:22 pm

    I hope Aptera completes safety testing this calendar year if they intend to pass the same tests as automobiles. The new IIHS side impact test failed all vehicles tested except a Mazda. The new test will be in effect starting in 2023. Especially vulnerable are vehicles with low passenger seating.

    Failure probably means higher insurance rates

    https://www.yahoo.com/autos/iihs-side-impact-test-flunks-151600975.htmlhttps://www.yahoo.com/autos/iihs-side-impact-test-flunks-151600975.html

    • This discussion was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by  Jonah Jorgenson. Reason: erased formatting text
  • John Trotter

    Moderator
    August 5, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    I’m not sure the objective is to pass the test, but rather to see if the vehicle is safe – safe enough. Passing an outdated test may be easier, but not reflective of the risks from other vehicles currently on the road. In any event, Aptera should be simulating crash testing well before actual kinetic testing. It would be good to see results of that as soon as safety systems are finished.

    • John Malcom

      Member
      August 5, 2022 at 9:25 pm

      Of course the objective is to pass the test! Failing to pass, getting a high non passing score.

      I am sure Aptera is simulating crash testing. Do you think all of the cars except Mazda weren’t doing engineering simulations of crash testing?

      Hopefully Aptera is instantiating the physics of the new test in their engineering simulations. Aptera has bragged about the safety of the vehicle. It would not be good if Aptera did not do extra well in crash testing. Degrades credibility for an important feature and casts doubt on other claims.

  • Lane Costilow

    Member
    August 5, 2022 at 9:40 pm
  • David Marlow

    Member
    August 6, 2022 at 2:13 am

    With the Aptera’s lighter weight and the passenger sitting a little farther from the outside of the vehicle, it may slide away from the impact more than the others.

    • John Malcom

      Member
      August 6, 2022 at 6:25 am

      It may.

      Hard to determine without an accurate engineering simulation or physical testing. Material science/engineering is not one of my skills. Another factor would be the velocity of the test vehicle. If stationary, the energy transfer would be greater than if moving forward at some speed. I think it is most likely that testing is done with the test vehicle stationary. The worst case, a speculation on my part, Aptera would do better than most if not all sedans tested, but still a catastrophic event for the occupant on the side of the collision.

  • Christopher Barrett

    Member
    August 6, 2022 at 7:41 am

    The fact that may not show up in a crash test, is the avoidance factor. Hard to escape all accidents, but quick maneuvers, with good results, can make it a better outcome.

    In any case, this crash test is somewhat a moot point. The three wheels does not make it a car, and the fiber composites, makes it stronger than steel. If it comes down as the safest car out there, it can only attract folks who buy Volvos and former Saab owners. Folks buy Mercedes Benz to be safer, and if Aptera turns a few heads with a crash test which seems unbelievable, it will just make more folks wish to buy the quirky vehicle, which cost less to buy and own than most others. So many matrixes have been topped, or achieved new heights, that the crash test makes an exclamation point of the list. Efficiency, (I bet you it will be fun to drive) safety, cost of ownership, never rusts, and yada, yada, yada!

    They probably will crush the crash test, and my intention is to never worry about it while I am driving.

    • John Malcom

      Member
      August 6, 2022 at 9:43 am

      The crash test certainly is not moot.

      Aptera has been making claims that although not necessary for the class of vehicle Aptera fits in, they will submit Aptera to the more vigorous testing criteria for a car and pass. The claim of the fiber being stronger than steel Is a claim not a test proven fact in a current vehicle implementation. Aptera must submit to what ever criteria exist at the time of safety testing for automobiles. If steel fails, as it has with the cars tested (Except Mazda) the composite may fail too. Regardless, Aptera must submit to the testing and report results.

      I am not an “Expert” in this discipline, but I think Aptera will test and will do well, impressively well.

    • Dan Kerpe

      Member
      August 6, 2022 at 10:04 am

      I just want to clear up one huge misconception in your post. The whole “fiber composites is stronger than steel” doesn’t mean much in a car accident. I spend my free time racing sailboats, and we build the fast ones out of the very best in composites. When we screw up and hit each other, it leaves big holes. Composites are freakin’ awesome when the loads are in the designed orientation. They suck when facing unexpected load paths. It’s also far harder to design crumple zones. I’m not being a naysayer, just a realist. I’m going into this viewing an Aptera as a very safe motorcycle, but slightly sketchy car. I’m okay with that.

      • Paul Schultz

        Member
        August 6, 2022 at 10:51 am

        @Dan, I have actually had thoughts regarding the resiliency demonstrated with this composite being a possible detriment instead of a strength regarding safety. It has to do with crumple zones as you mention. Current automotive passenger compartment safety is centered around keeping the passenger compartment space reasonably intact while the remainder of the body has crumple zones to absorb some of the energy from impact. Back in the 1950-60s cars were designed like tanks. The result was no absorption of the impact energy. So, the energy was passed to the passengers… more injuries. I hope the side impact with an Aptera doesn’t show too much resiliency or it could lead to the Aptera looking better after the impact but at the expense of the passengers. This test would be very telling. I hope we get to see some actual crash testing data as 2022 comes to an end.

  • Selvan Poothamby

    Member
    August 6, 2022 at 1:32 pm

    Chris highlighted these were “physical” test. “The previous version had the highest roof crush strength of all passenger cars on the road! It performed exceedingly well in actual side and frontal crash tests.The previous version had the highest roof crush strength of all passenger cars on the road! It performed exceedingly well in actual side and frontal crash tests.”

    • Steven G. Bueche

      Member
      August 6, 2022 at 1:55 pm

      Aptera claimed that roof strength back then (10 years ago) was it the same material as in the current iteration /? Was it the Honeycomb Sandwich we’ve seen Chris handle?

      And as far as earlier testing, we’ve not seen any crash testing from the first Sale vehicle 10 years ago. All we’ve seen is them dropping an empty shell from a forklift.

      My point is we just don’t know what’s going to happen because we don’t have enough information about the body material being used. It may be a trade secret. It looks nice and thick. But we’ve never seen a sheet of it flexing like Chris says it would.

      I’s like to see the simulation testing from the computer. I’d like them to talk a little more about safety and not with a few quip statements.

      If anyone knows where to find crash tests of the original Aptera I’d like to see them. Even in written form would do. Remember the old on was being put on sale to the public and I would think they’d done some testing somewhere to show it’s stronger than steel.

  • Selvan Poothamby

    Member
    August 6, 2022 at 2:06 pm

    When Chris says “test done previously” in a video dated April ’22, I don’t think he’s referring to test done a decade ago.

    Not to worry, we will all, at the least, be made aware of what the results are once they’re done, officially. I’ve no doubt it’ll be by leaps and bounds.

    • John Malcom

      Member
      August 6, 2022 at 4:08 pm

      Chris is referring to the tests done a “Decade” ago. No safety testing has been done on the current (EV) version. Official safety testing is conducted on production intent (Delta) vehicles. We are not there yet with Aptera. Gamma will apparently be revealed next week. Delta will be next.

      • Selvan Poothamby

        Member
        August 6, 2022 at 5:02 pm

        @John Malcom you yourself have mentioned in Oct ’21 that some of the 10 betas we’re going to be used for crash testing. And you, @Steven G. Bueche around that same time commented that you believed the crash test results would be impressive due to the high standards and commitment to safety the engineers have.

        Anyway, till .gov reports on it, let’s drink on it.

        • John Malcom

          Member
          August 6, 2022 at 6:14 pm

          There never were 10 betas. Probably to save budget or a change in testing strategy. Only Aptera knows. The beta or betas that were used for testing and tuning the Roush designed suspension. So stability and safe control of the vehicle were the focus. During the testing the Aptera successfully negotiated the Moose Test. Many if not most vehicles fail and sometimes even roll over. So that is the successful safety testing by the Aptera Beta.

  • Selvan Poothamby

    Member
    August 6, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    I think it’ll pass, even if it’s later. They seem to be concerned about the depth of intrusion and how well the structure holds up. Aptera’s light weight should be the saving grace here, I think. With that crash contraption they’re using, I don’t think the rounded body does much here but if that structural support pillar (b pillar I think) is well, very well, made, Aptera should just be pushed sideways without much damage.

  • Qiang Fu

    Member
    August 6, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    Not sure whether Aptera will conduct both NHTSA and IIHS tests. If Aptera conducts all 4 NHTSA and bypass IIHS, that’s very good for me already. The star ratings on the new car window stickers are from NHTSA, so I think average consumers are related to the NHTSA test results better.

  • Pistonboy Delux

    Member
    August 7, 2022 at 10:30 pm

    If a crash simulation of an Aptera is done on a computer program, how accurate are the results? Do these simulation programs take into consideration the vehicle is made of fiberglass, or are the programs only designed for metal vehicles?

    The Corvette is fiberglass. Was it simulated of a computer program?

    • David Marlow

      Member
      August 7, 2022 at 10:51 pm

      The Aptera is not fiberglass.

      • Peter Jorgensen

        Member
        August 8, 2022 at 7:08 am

        Aptera’s body is almost all fiberglass.

    • Jonah Jorgenson

      Member
      August 7, 2022 at 10:59 pm

      All vehicle manufacturers use engineering simulations to engineer their vehicles. How accurate the results are depends on how much effort is made to have accurate physics and a detailed level of resolution. The simulations are like any other computer program, garbage in, garbage out.

      • Steven G. Bueche

        Member
        August 8, 2022 at 3:48 am

        Valid points. I think the simulation software allows for multiple factors which may get them as close as possible to results that are close enough to predict an outcome.

        Betas were not made of the honeycomb sandwich we’ve been shown. In most photos, you can see sunshine passing through the structure. This may be simply a thin shell to make it look like an Aptera and crash testing wasn’t the goal.

        I wonder if there’s any photos of this material being used in a production vehicle as the A pillars seem thin even with this material being used. Or is it? Has anyone seen the honeycombed Aptera before wrapping?

        My point is this: I don’t want to purchase a vehicle that’s just fiberglass. If I wanted that, there are plenty of Dune Buggies on the beach.

        • OZ (It’s OZ, Just OZ)

          Member
          August 8, 2022 at 4:48 am

          Actually, the Beta suspension mule we’ve seen, is built of the same composite and honeycomb material that all Apterae will be made of.

        • Jonah Jorgenson

          Member
          August 8, 2022 at 6:26 am

          OZ is correct. Beta(s) are made of the composite material.

          It would make no sense to manufacture the Beta(s) out of a different, inferior material. Doing so would cost more in the long run and negate the results of Beta testing.

          • Steven G. Bueche

            Member
            August 8, 2022 at 8:20 am

            When you look at the square piece Chris holds up it looks at least 1/2″ thick. When you see pictures/videos of the Beta with the sun behind it you can clearly see through it. So it can’t be the same composite we’re talking about. If they have the molds it would take next to nothing to whip up a fiberglass version for testing especially if it was for suspension and not crash testing.

            I don’t think they’re going to use the Beta bodies for the next level so why waste the money for the production composite if testing suspension and curb strikes?

            • OZ (It’s OZ, Just OZ)

              Member
              August 8, 2022 at 9:15 am

              The body shell makes up most if not all of the strength of the vehicle, since it has no interior frame, if you made a shell for the Beta out of fiberglass, it would flail about like a jellyfish. The material of the sandwich construction appears to be translucent.

            • John Malcom

              Member
              August 8, 2022 at 11:16 am

              Not that it matters at this point, but the beta was made of composite material. OZ is correct. Think about it and it will make sense

    • Selvan Poothamby

      Member
      August 8, 2022 at 4:00 am

      The results must be very accurate! Think about it, manufacturers build and actually physically crash their vehicles based on those results.

  • Pistonboy Delux

    Member
    August 8, 2022 at 1:13 pm

    Nathan Armstrong said in one of his personal videos, the body was essentially fiberglass. He also made a comment about having an inner shell and outer shell (at least in part of the vehicle) with a foam (3M ?) between them. This would provide great strength with little weight. I think the design is fantastic.

    Composite is a general term. Fiberglass is one specific form of composite. They like to say composite because it sounds more fancy. They also like to mention hemp because it appeals to the younger people. This is smart marketing and they should be doing this.

    • John Malcom

      Member
      August 8, 2022 at 1:47 pm

      There is no hemp in an Aptera.

      • John Voules

        Member
        August 8, 2022 at 2:21 pm

        I believe the talk the for use of hemp was still going on for interior pieces….either way, driver or passenger can opt to bring some along.😇

    • Selvan Poothamby

      Member
      August 8, 2022 at 3:43 pm

      This might be of interest to you, have you seen it

      https://youtu.be/bdqUTDCOGSs

  • Selvan Poothamby

    Member
    August 8, 2022 at 3:14 pm
  • George Hughes

    Member
    August 8, 2022 at 11:28 pm

    First off, most folks come to this with the image of a smashed corvette or some other fiberglass vehicle (maybe a kit conversion for a bug). The bodies on these vehicles tend to shatter in a collision. Even when a F1 or NASCAR racer hits the wall, viewers see how fiberglass fractures.

    What few non-engineers grasp, at least on the racers, is that is what they were designed to do.

    Indeed, the difference between F1 and NASCAR use of composites is that the former adopted composite monocoques(shells) and the latter uses more a body on frame architecture.

    Different portions of the monocoque have different densities and characteristics.

    The greater force in all this is that for 120+ years we’ve almost exclusively used body on frame with the notable adaptation to a unibody/sub-frame architecture.

    The full-composite bodied vehicle is a relatively new innovation that has seen a lot more application in aircraft and marine applications. In addition to Formula 1, it has been featured in mostly prototypes and other exoitics.

    As far as the testing, if there is a buzz around Aptera I suspect that British automotive channel on youtube that featured the smashing of a Fortwo into a concrete barrier at 75mph to see if a dummy could survive. I posted it in a similar topic several months ago.

    I’m pretty sure these folks are smart enough to avoid making the vehicle a death trap.

    My grasp of the general physics involved which is based on a light vehicle with a more tank like set of fenders (bump-em car) that tends to bounce more than crush. My concern is how easily the Aptera will roll in any number of collision related scenarios. The three-wheel design, even with the wide front track, has a body that is curved more egg-like than any wheeled coach we’ve known. Indeed the hard shell is the key to safety providing a vehicle that assumes advantage under the physical law that energy is dissipated more slowly the longer it takes for the event to resolve.

    Essentially I see it as a very strong ‘egg’ shell and the real game is how you protect the passengers from injury not only in the first but second collision event. The issues that concern me are how the windshield will react in the extended (because you’re rolling and bouncing.) and more likely second collision. Post accident extraction could also be a problem if the vehicle lands belly side up (I’ve heard of designs that because of the weight distribution, the vehicle will right itself.)

    The final concern is how well the belting, seating and airbag deployment works to keep the driver and passenger protected in their seat. That is what they’re doing now and I would assume keeping their customers and shareholder’s as safe as possible would be a first principle.

    As far as the side-impact, the three-wheel design means the Aptera will likely throw the rear of the Aptera around an arch drawn in the same direction as the force. This will ‘twist’ the battery’s inertia upward and eventually away with the dynamics that will have a dynamic somewhere between a medicine ball and a basketball with emphasis on the heavier object.

    What’s not predictable without full engineering data is how all the force is distributed and how it might bounce and whether there is another reason for the full width stance of Aptera – i.e. it makes it nearly impossible to roll but very capable of rotating rapidly on an axis centered in the passenger compartment dissipating the energy by converting it to centrifugal force which is dissipated over a longer period of time with less extreme forces being focused on the passenger compartment.

    What I’m saying is that Aptera has a chance of protecting its occupants by making more of the impacts result in glancing blows instead of dead-on crashes. Both discerning and lucky drivers will partake in the enhanced safety this passive system possesses because of its rigid monocoque, wide stance, light weight and weight distribution, and three-wheeled architecture.

    A couple of quips in an early videos with Sandy Monro had the man saying that Aptera would do well on the crash tests in part because, on the tough 1/4 barrier test, the vehicle’s tire/motor assembly would just shear off in a glancing blow with little damage to the passenger compartment other than a rip on the wrap. The question in this scenario is how much of the impact energy was dissipated by ripping the drive motor and wheel off and the path the Aptera will take on two wheels.

    Safety may be another hidden super power of composite manufacture over steel, the first of course being it’s ‘cheap’ price in comparison with tesla’s mega-injection molding machine punching out complex sub assemblies in seconds. Both processes result in large complex parts that dramatically diminish the number of parts required to assemble a vehicle with the inherent savings of labor and material.

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