On October 10, after a two month trial, a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury found Toyota Motor Corp. not liable in one of the first wrongful death lawsuits to go to trial in the United States over alleged defects that caused some vehicles to unexpectedly accelerate. Ms. Noriko Uno was involved in a fatal vehicle crash when she drove her Toyota Camry the wrong way down a road for nearly a half mile, ultimately colliding head-on with a large tree. Immediately prior to driving the wrong way down the one way street, Ms. Uno was struck on the drivers side of her car by a Lexus that ran a stop sign, sending her Toyota into a 180- degree sliding turn.
PSI documented nearly a mile of the incident scene, including the location of both impacts, via 3D Laser Scanning, allowing very detailed analysis to be performed and the results illustrated with the highest possible fidelity. PSI’s team also created multiple 3D animations of the entire sequence of events, including a ground-breaking blend of high definition video, high resolution photography and 3D animation to illustrate what it was like to be inside Ms. Uno’s car as it was struck and sent into the rapid rotation post-impact.
PSI created a functional 3D Working Model of the entire scene, including the vehicles and the physical evidence, allowing an exhaustive study of the data, witness testimony and evidence. The Working Model was continuously used as PSI worked hand in hand with the reconstruction expert to hone the vehicle dynamics pre- and post-impact to match the evidence and performance characteristics of the Toyota.
Once the reconstruction was complete, PSI’s team developed compelling visuals using a blend of 3D animation, high definition video, panoramic photography and 3D Laser Scanning imagery. The jury was able to experience the initial impact by the Lexus from within the driver’s seat of the Toyota. In addition, the jury then saw the following portion from a third party aerial perspective, highlighting the multiple impacts between the Toyota and objects along the driver’s half mile drive, the wrong way down a two lane road. The final impact sequence between the Toyota and a large tree was modeled to match full speed crash data collected at Toyota’s test track and captured via high speed video and 3D laser scanning.
The result of this blend of technology and expertise? A jury verdict in favor of Toyota in a critical first case in a series of litigation that had gained national media attention.
PSI’s 3D Working Model = the Ultimate tool for seeking and illustrating the truth.