Animation and Simulation
Computer animations and simulations are effective tools in performing and presenting accident reconstruction analyses.
Traffic accident animation provides a dynamic 3-D color visual portrayal of the time - speed - position histories of vehicles and/or pedestrians. These trajectories are incorporated into a three dimensional accident scene diagram or a Google Earth satellite image or a combination of both. The results can be viewed in real time or slow motion. "Cameras" can be placed at any location within or above the animation accident scene, including attached to dynamic moving objects (such as within the driver's compartment inside a car). With this capability, the dynamic viewpoint of drivers, passengers, pedestrians, or eyewitnesses can be demonstrated. Or simple static still frame slides showing plan views from overhead and from various oblique bird's eye views can be shown. The results can be very powerful re-enactments of the subject collision or incident from various perspectives. With an animation, the accident scene, object models (including automobiles, trucks, buses, motorcycles, bicycles or pedestrians) and object movements are input by the animator based on results from an expert accident reconstruction and other reliable information.
Accident simulation is similar to animation as far as the visual end product but the technique is slightly different. With a computer simulation, the program software includes a validated physics module that calculates and predicts the movements and/or post-collision dynamics of the vehicles depending on the set of initial conditions input by the expert. Those conditions may include vehicle dimensions, weights, crush stiffness, speeds, positions, orientations and driver inputs, to name a few. The basic objective with a simulation is that the simulation results match whatever the physical and testimonial evidence indicate regarding post-impact vehicle movements, damage, tire marks, and point of rest positions of the vehicles. Simulation results can be incorporated with an animation (as described above) to provide a scientifically based high definition 3-D graphical depiction of a traffic collision event.
Expert Reconstruction Company LLC primarily utilizes software products under license from FARO and Engineering Dynamics Corporation to perform both animations and simulations.