In the antiseptic present, many crash tests happen nowhere in particular. The smashing and crumpling goes down inside computers and on screens, because virtual exams are cheaper and usually just as effective as ones that rattle crash dummies.
That’s fine in most case, but not when you’re trying to prove you can make train crashes less deadly. “Computer models, at the moment, do not perfectly describe deformation, says Michael Zimmermann. He’s an engineer with the German Aerospace Center, or DLR, thecountry’s NASA equivalent, which is working on a new kind of passenger rail design. (Yes, ze Germans are into trains like the Americans are into the Moon.)
A screen just wouldn’t do,so earlier this month, gleeful German engineerstook a new passenger rail design for a satisfying smash.