The Relationship between Comfort and Knee Angles 2004-01-2144
With rising customer expectations, driver comfort will become more and more important for car manufacturers in distinguishing themselves from others. This creates a design challenge, since it is difficult to predict comfort, especially in early design stages. Today, comfort can only be assessed and tested very late during design and construction efforts (mostly using prototypes). Potentially, anthropometric and biomechanical human modeling systems, provide a solution for early comfort testing. Hence, the application of these systems will decrease costs, lead-time and testing time. However, before one is able to create such a software solution, one must have insight in the relationship between mechanical parameters and comfort. This relationship was investigated through a series of experiments in a driving simulator. Both mechanical parameters and postural comfort were measured. The results revealed that the knee joint angle is related to driver comfort concerning the pedal position and depends on the firmness of the seat upholstery.