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Things are so hectic right now that I read the headline quickly, did a double-take — and then read it again: FARO Technologies, the 3D measurement and laser scanning company, acquired ARAS 360 Technologies to add to its accident and crime reconstruction offering. Not that Aras, this ARAS.

ARAS 360 was founded to bring advanced technology to the forensic investigations and has grown from crash and crime reconstruction to include analytical, 3D drawing, animation and simulation features. It’s a bit TV-cop-show-meets-the-real-world, as data from an crime or accident scene is used to create a realistic simulation of what a driver saw (and didn’t see), signal lights and brake light, how fast everyone was traveling, road conditions and other things that can help get at the root cause of the incident. Courts are increasingly recognizing this type of technology and allowing it into the courtroom.

FARO has been building up its forensic offerings, leveraging its laser scan technology to quickly and accurately documentation accident scenes and vehicles. As in engineering applications, laser scans can unequivocally answer questions such as “how high is the curb?” to help bring the scene back to the office and preserve it for investigators. ARAS 360 takes this to the next logical step: adding simulations to the scanned scene.

The image above is from ARAS 360’s website, and shows how the HD Advanced Articulation module simulates what happens when tandem trailers, in this case, come around a curve. If you’ve ever watched one of these behemoths on the highway, you’ll know that the rear axle can shimmy outwards in a curve — the question FARO and ARAS 360 want to answer is, how much?

The value of the transaction was not announced but it sounds as though it’s already complete.

Jay Freeland, FARO’s CEO will be at REAL2015 later this month. I’ll be there; will you?