Design Considerations for a Compatibility Test Procedure 2002-01-1022
A major focus of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) vehicle compatibility and aggressivity research program is the development of a laboratory test procedure to evaluate compatibility. This paper is written to explain the associated goals, issues, and design considerations and to review the preliminary results from this ongoing research program. One of NHTSA's activities supporting the development of a test procedure involves investigating the use of an mobile deformable barrier (MDB) into vehicle test to evaluate both the self-protection (crashworthiness) and the partner-protection (compatibility) of the subject vehicle. For this development, the MDB is intended to represent the median or expected crash partner. This representiveness includes such vehicle characteristics as weight, size, and frontal stiffness. This paper presents distributions of vehicle measurements based on 1996 fleet registration data. While there is still considerable work to be done to develop meaningful aggressivity metrics that relate to real-world crash performance, this paper summarizes NHTSA's work to date in this area.