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Engineering Dynamics Simulation Model of Automobile Collisions

EDSMAC4™ is a simulation analysis of vehicle collisions. Any number of vehicles, trailers, and/or barriers may be included. Based on the SMAC model originally developed by Calspan for NHTSA, EDSMAC4 includes numerous extensions developed by EDC. The user enters the initial position and velocity for each vehicle in the study. The user may also enter driver controls (steering, throttle and brakes). Using this information, EDSMAC4 calculates tire, collision and inter-vehicle connection forces at user-specified time intervals. The simulation then calculates the resulting vehicle positions, velocities, accelerations and damage profiles for each timestep. The results may be displayed numerically in a spreadsheet format or visually in 2-D viewers.

Staged Collision SimulationResearchers may use EDSMAC4 to predict and visualize how crashes occur. Typically, the user is interested in vehicle initial velocity, velocity change (delta-V, a measure of crash severity) and collision damage. 

EDSMAC4 has been validated using the RICSAC staged collisions, a set of 12 well-instrumented staged collisions.

EDSMAC4 employs a 2-D, 3 degree of freedom collision model for each vehicle or barrier object. Simultaneous collisions between any number of objects are allowed (examples include a multi-vehicle freeway pile-up, pinning a vehicle between a striking vehicle and a tree, etc.). The original SMAC collision model has also been extended significantly, and now includes A and B stiffnesses for each side, as well as direct support for barrier collisions. EDSMAC4 also provides a robust model for collisions involving articulated vehicles towing any number of trailers, with or without dollys.

Tire vs  terrain interaction is modeled transparently to the user, and extends the original SMAC model by calculating quasi-static longitudinal and lateral load transfers. At each timestep, the EDSMAC4 tire model queries the environment to use the friction factor beneath each tire. The trajectory model has also been extended to allow the user to simulate vehicles with tandem axles and dual tires. Tire blow-outs and wheel displacements can also be simulated.

If you would like to see an example of how to use EDSMAC4, download the Tutorial from the EDSMAC4 Physics Manual. (Download time for this 1.7 MB Adobe PDF file is about 2 - 6 minutes, depending upon your connection speed.)

You can also download the EDSMAC4 Model Overview technical paper directly from the Technical Reference Library of this website. (Download time for this 0.5 MB Adobe PDF file is about 1 - 3 minutes, depending upon your connection speed.)



  • Selectable from HVE-2D's built-in databases, according to Type (Passenger Car, Pickup, Sport-utility, Van, Truck, Trailer, Dolly, Fixed or Moving Barrier), Make, Model, Year, Body Style
  • Several Database Sources (Generic, EDC, User and others), for vehicles 
  • All data are user-editable


  • 2-D Terrain Model (from DXF file or several other sources) with user-definable friction zones for tire-road interaction
  • Local Gravitational Constant

  • Drag-and-drop positioning of vehicles on the environment model
  • Open-loop driver control tables (steering, braking and throttle)
  • Tire Blow-out Parameters (blow-out time and duration, tire stiffness and rolling resistance multipliers)
  • Wheel Displacement (x, y, time, duration)
  • Accelerometers (x, y location for up to 5 devices)
  • Simulation Controls (integration timesteps, maximum simulation time, output time interval and termination conditions)


Variable Output

  • Vehicle Kinematics (position, velocity, acceleration vs time)
  • Vehicle Kinetics (total forces and moments vs time from tires, collision and inter-vehicle connections)
  • Damage Profile Data (force, crush vs time for each damage point)
  • Accelerometer Data (velocity, acceleration vs time for each device)
  • Tire Data (contact patch coordinates, forces, slip angle, skid status vs time)
  • Wheel Data (coordinates, steer and camber angle vs time)
  • Collision Pulse (acceleration vs time history for occupant simulation)
  • Connection Data (articulation angles, forces)

Trajectory Simulation
  • Visualization of vehicle motion and damage profile at user-specified time intervals
  • Damage Profile Viewer


  • Accident History (initial, impact, separation and rest positions and velocities)
  • Damage Data (profile, CDC, PDOF, delta-V, peak acceleration)
  • Driver Controls (steering, braking and throttle)
  • Simulation Controls (numerical integration parameters)
  • Vehicle Data (dimensions, inertias, stiffnesses, restitution, inter-vehicle connection and tire properties)
  • Messages (event-related diagnostics)

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