A New Approach to Modeling Driver Reach 2003-01-0587
The reach capability of drivers is currently represented in vehicle design practice in two ways. The SAE Recommended Practice J287 presents maximum reach capability surfaces for selected percentiles of a generic driving population. Driver reach is also simulated using digital human figure models. In typical applications, a family of figure models that span a large range of the target driver population with respect to body dimensions is positioned within a digital mockup of the driver's workstation. The articulated segments of the figure model are exercised to simulate reaching motions and driver capabilities are calculated from the constraints of the kinematic model.
Both of these current methods for representing driver reach are substantially limited. The J287 surfaces are not configurable for population characteristics, do not provide the user with the ability to adjust accommodation percentiles, and do not provide any guidance on the difficulty of reaches that are attainable. The figure model method is strongly dependent on the quality of the models used for posturing and range of motion, and, in any case, cannot reliably generate population distributions of either reach capability or difficulty.
A new method of modeling driver reach capability is presented. The method is based on a unified model of reach difficulty and capability in which a maximum reach is a maximally difficult reach. The new approach is made possible by new measurement methods that allow detailed and efficient sampling of an individual's reach-difficulty function. This paper summarizes the experimental approach and presents the structure of the new integrated model of population reach difficulty and capability.