Vehicle weight reduction, reduced costs and improved safety performance are the main driving forces behind material selection for automotive applications. High strength steels (HSS) have demonstrated their ability to meet these demands and consequently have been the fastest growing light-weighting material in vehicle structures for the past decade. The evolution in steel technology in recent years has produced new grades of highly formable, advanced high strength steel (AHSS) grades that will continue to meet these automotive demands into the next decade. This paper provides an example of how these advanced automotive materials have been incorporated into the ULSAB-Advance Vehicle Concept (ULSAB-AVC) and how these materials enable cost- and mass-effective solutions that satisfy the increasing crash performance requirements placed on vehicle designs.
This paper provides an overview of the materials utilized in the ULSAB-AVC  body structure and how these advanced materials, combined with effective design and advanced material processing, deliver a cost effective light-weight structure that satisfies the demanding crash performance anticipated for 2004. The paper compares the ULSAB-AVC design to the previous ULSAB body structure program to provide a comparison of the influence increased crash performance requirements and materials have on the overall mass and cost of a vehicle body structure.