Usually the high-tech world of Formula One is the first to benefit from advanced safety and performance features before the technology eventually filters down into regular road going cars. But with Toyota’s Total Human Model Safety (THUMS) computer simulation system, it was regular production cars that were first to gain from the technology.

Toyota has been using its THUMS simulation to help design safer production vehicles for years. The system is a virtual representation of the human body that can provide engineers with precise data about the injuries real people might suffer in different kinds of vehicle accidents.

The FIA Institute, the safety arm of the FIA, is now working with Toyota to help improve safety in high speed race car accidents with a particular focus for F1 and IRL. The data collected from research is helping engineers to develop better race car seat structures and will eventually lead to new safety standards in a number of single-seater racing championships.