Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 33

Q&
Hyundai's 'edgy' new ideas for safety testing
In June 2022, Hyundai Motor America broke ground for its
Safety Test and Investigation Laboratory (STIL), an industryunique
testing facility dedicated to root-cause crash investigations
and electric vehicle/future-product analysis activities
at its Michigan R&D campus west of Detroit. Not long after
the $51.6-million STIL's inauguration, the company named
Brian Latouf as its first-ever Global Chief Safety Officer to " integrate
the engineering resources of Hyundai and HMNA by
combining safety field investigations, safety data analysis and
safety- engineering performance into a streamlined global
technical function. " At the STIL
groundbreaking, SAE Mobility
Media editorial director Bill Visnic
spoke with Latouf about Hyundai's
crash-safety vision.
Equipping to crash vehicles is a
serious undertaking. But you're
actually going to crash vehicles at
the new STIL facility, correct?
Oh, we are. The Field Crash
Investigation Lab is one of the key
components of the STIL. But it's
non-regulatory - we're going to
focus on those crashes that happen
in the field with our customers, and
things happen. Say the airbags
don't deploy, say the structure behaves
differently, say you have an
electronic short during the crash
event and your sensing system is
not operable. Things like guardrails,
edge conditions, maybe a double
impact, we're going to try different
roll events. We're going to explore
the frontier of safety. Because not
everything is replicated by your
traditional crash test.
You're going to be more about
replicating real-world types of
crashes at this facility?
We're going to have a tow line, in a
tow track that's enclosed, and
we're going to have a building
where we're going to be able to
put different sorts of abutments or
barriers. We have guardrails, poles,
other vehicles - and we're going
to have it extend outside. We may
do 'trip' events.
Say a high-speed edge condition
takes out the fusebox. And
AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING
with the fusebox [destroyed], do you have enough capacitance
to command a [airbag] deployment? Those type of
things are not understood by a traditional crash test. Do you
have backup systems? Do you have capacitant power [in a
crash] for a certain amount of time, an energy reserve? That
type of thing. Unless you try those things and explore it, you
don't understand it.
How important is this facility to EV testing? Because there's a
lot that's still not known about EVs?
Exactly. Lithium-ion batteries have
their own quirkiness. We're going to
have a battery lab here, and an outdoor
battery pad; we're going to
explore the limits of battery systems.
We'll likely combine some of the
battery tests with the field-crash lab
as well. And cycling systems - introducing
flaws into batteries, how do
they behave as you overload them
- is important. Then having the ability
to tear them down and understand
the details of the quality challenges.
Our future is EVs and EVs
will be a big, big part of our STIL.
Brian Latouf, a mechanical engineer with an extensive
background in vehicle crash safety, is Hyundai Motor Co.'s
first-ever Global Chief Safety Officer.
We're going to explore the
frontier of safety. Because
not everything is replicated
by your traditional crash test.
Actual regulatory crash testing for
Hyundai - is that all engaged in
South Korea?
The development work and DV validation
is done in South Korea. The
pre-production cars are shipped
here; we crash-test them typically at
MGA [Research Corp.] or Calspan in
the U.S. These are approved test
laboratories. So, we ensure we have
crash test data from a U.S.-based
facility. A lot of the development is
done in South Korea, but the final
validation is here.
What is your background? Are you
a mechanical engineer?
I'm from Canada originally. I'm
American now. I have a Bachelor's
in mechanical engineering and I
have a Master's in mechanical as
well, with the major in biomechanics.
I specialized in occupant injuries,
injury trauma. I went to Wayne
State [University] under Dr. Albert
King, where the Hybrid III crush
dummy was created.
October 2022 33
A
HYUNDAI

Automotive Engineering - October 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive Engineering - October 2022

Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - Intro
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - Sponsor1
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - CVRA
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - CVRB
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - CVR1
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - CVR2
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