The secrets to a good IIHS headlamp rating thanks to simulation

Never fail IIHS standards again

April 24th, 2018 | Innovation

Article IIHS

Is your headlamp good enough to satisfy Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) regulation? Well, legally yes, but that’s not enough to give value to your car!



Since 2016, IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has been testing headlamps with newly established methods. The IIHS test is performed on real equipment when the vehicle is ready to go, sometimes resulting in an unsatisfying rating. The result of the IIHS test has a strong influence on the market and on consumers, but automotive OEM companies and tier-1 suppliers don’t have the tools to make sure their future headlamps will meet IIHS requirements. What they need is to predict a poor rating during the early development phase of the headlamps, so that they have plenty of time to fix potential issues earlier and increase the safety and hence the very value of their car. The vehicle would then be highly competitive thanks to its improved safety and would contribute to reducing the number of fatal car accidents. The answer to this challenge, a fully-automated IIHS headlamp test simulation solution, including all vehicle dynamics, now enables OEMs companies and Tier1 suppliers to precisely predict the result of IIHS headlamp test and to make the relevant design and performance optimization.


A fully-automated IIHS headlamp test simulator (such as OPTIS’ VRX physics-based driving simulation software) is the answer to this challenge. Importing vehicle dynamics models (from a software like CarSim, simulating the performance of passenger vehicles) into the driving simulation software provides a fully accurate driving environment. This enables to consider the vehicle’s behavior for real IIHS test to predict the result accurately.


IIHS test in a fully-automated physics-based test simulator (such as OPTIS’ VRX) is achieved thanks to a specific virtual illuminance sensor and to the IIHS simulation Simulink project. This project executes all measurements, post-processing and report generation automatically. The IIHS headlamp test is not only a measurement, it contains complex post-processing and report generation. In a fully-automated physics-based test simulator (such as OPTIS’ VRX), all this process can be done by a single command.






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