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Safe vehicles for the future of mobility

Vehicle safety. What we develop moves you. IAV commissioned its second state-of-the-art crash test facility in 2017. Since then, IAV is the world’s only engineering company to have two crash test facilities of this size and quality. IAV is thus not only at the cutting edge of technology: it also plays in the Champions League with regard to future topics such as e-mobility and automated driving, as well as underlining its role as leading technology partner when it comes to vehicle safety.

The building shudders with a loud bang. Fragments fly through the room. Nils Laurenz nods with satisfaction. The test engineer and his team are responsible for crash tests, from configuration right through to initial on-site analysis. Everyone benefits from enhanced vehicle safety, says Laurenz, with IAV making a major contribution. The crash tests trigger continuous enhancements of the vehicle with increasingly targeted protection of the occupants.

„We have won a lot of trust in our services in recent years, with many new customers to be looked after."

Nils Laurenz — Test Engineer Vehicle Safety

Demand for all-encompassing solutions

It took just one year to erect the crash test facility right at the heart of the automotive industry in Southern Germany. The technology is state of the art, covering all possible scenarios demanded by consumer protection and by law. IAV now offers its customers all-embracing solutions that address all aspects of active and passive safety, says Andreas Weinkopf, Managing Director at IAV Fahrzeugsicherheit GmbH.

„Ensuring vehicle safety is nothing new for us, even for e-mobility. We've already achieved a great deal here and are constantly improving our skills."

Andreas Weinkopf — Managing Director IAV Vehicle Safety

The answer for e-mobility

There was a special focus on e-mobility already when planning the crash test facility. The infrastructure is optimized for putting electric vehicles through effective, safe crash test procedures. Staff also received special training at the same time and strong teams were set up. IAV has even developed supportive technology such as sniffing robots that detect gas leaks from batteries. Customers are enthusiastic about the infrastructure and know-how.

„The big question is what will occupant safety look like as we move forward toward automated driving. All of a sudden, there are many new sitting positions that have to be protected in some way or another."

Andreas Weinkopf — Managing Director IAV Vehicle Safety

Even autonomous vehicles need airbags

It is still going to take a while before all vehicles will be driving in fully automated mode. But IAV is already setting accents here too. Vehicles without a steering wheel open up completely new interior concepts, with many possible sitting positions. Conventional airbag concepts must be revised. IAV is researching into many different technologies, including radar or ultrasound detection of occupant positions, and restraint systems for appropriate protection. IAV is also developing completely new seat, interior and vehicle concepts for the mobility of tomorrow.

„We're a bit like the police: we work on a multi-disciplinary basis to ensure that the vehicle fulfills the automotive safety standards."

Andreas Weinkopf — Managing Director IAV Vehicle Safety

Crash tests remain indispensable

Although simulations have meanwhile replaced many test procedures, crash tests will still exist even 20 years from now. Nils Laurenz is sure that practical tests are indispensable for new materials, components and production tolerances. And he’s pleased about that: after all, he is convinced that the work he does helps to make driving a bit safer.

Nils Laurenz
Nils Laurenz is IAV test engineer in Großmehring.

Andreas Weinkopf
Andreas Weinkopf is Managing Director of IAV Fahrzeugsicherheit GmbH. The IAV subsidiary deals with the whole topic of vehicle safety.

What is it like to work in this field?

Learn more in our employee portrait of
Nils Laurenz