Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-05-0276
2000-06-12

Guidelines for the Development of Head Airbags for Rollover Protection 2000-05-0276

Dynamic rollover accidents are traditionally simulated worldwide by the lateral rollover test, as defined in the FMVSS 208 standard of the NHTSA, and most vehicle manufacturers include rollover tests in their development programs, even though this is compulsory only for some markets.
Side airbags are designed to save lives in the case of a lateral collision. Head airbags can also protect the occupants of the vehicle in the case of a rollover, but to date no vehicles are available in the market with head airbags specifically developed for this purpose.
The aim of this paper is to contribute to the development of new head airbags that will protect the occupants of vehicles not only in a lateral collision but also in the case of a rollover accident. For this purpose, a) new sensors are to be integrated into the airbag system, b) realistic rollover and non-rollover situations have to be considered, c) must-fire and no-fire conditions have to be defined, d) a new series of misuse tests are needed to guarantee the reliability of the system and, finally, e) a test method has to be defined. Furthermore, the new algorithm must be compatible to the one existing for side impacts.
In conclusion, we propose some guidelines for the future improvement of head airbag systems. We have identified two guidelines: those based on present state-of-the-art procedures and the others, which are proposals for future refinements, which we consider to be useful for the progress of automotive engineering.

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