SAE International Journal of Transportation Safety

Special Issue on Occupant Protection and Crashworthiness for ADS-Equipped Vehicles

The movement towards vehicles equipped with ADS (Automated Driving Systems) will allow for non-traditional vehicle occupant seating configurations.  Recent studies have suggested occupants are interested in not only facing each other during extended trips, but specifically seated in “camp-fire” settings, such as around a table.  The numerous potential seating configurations could change a traditional frontal crash into a scenario where one occupant is loaded in the typical frontal direction, while another undergoes a rear-end impact and yet a third occupant is loaded in an oblique manner.  In addition, occupants are interested in reclining their seats when not driving, thus adding even more complexity to keeping occupants safe in these ADS-equipped vehicle crash scenarios.  Therefore, there is a critical need for data to help safety engineers understand how to keep occupants safe in all potential seating configurations.  Today’s injury assessment tools, such as anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) and finite element human body models (HBMs), have largely been designed and validated using data from mainly frontal, side, or rear impact testing in which the occupant was seated upright.  The goal of this special issue is to bring together research focused on the ADS-equipped vehicle seating environment that could assist in improving the safety tools to ensure better occupant protection and crashworthiness in these vehicles in a variety of loading conditions.

Topics of interest specifically related to the topic of this issue include, but are not limited to:

  • Biomechanics/kinematics of occupants
  • Injury mechanisms, tolerance, and mitigation
  • Development of restraints or infrastructure for occupant safety
  • Development and/or evaluation of injury assessment tools (ATDs and HBMs)
  • Crashworthiness
  • Epidemiology & real-world crash analysis
  • Future crash/injury projection models

For more information, please contact the Guest Editors:

Dr. Kevin Moorhouse
Chief, Applied Biomechanics Division – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Dr. John Bolte IV
Professor, Director – Injury Biomechanics Research Center – The Ohio State University   

Deadline to submit manuscripts for consideration: 3/31/2021    

Please submit your article at and include a submission note in Editorial Manager to indicate that it is for this special issue.