Heavy Truck Frontal Crash Protection System Development 2007-01-4289
Heavy trucks are produced with a great variety of vehicle configurations, operate over a wide range of gross vehicle weight and sometimes function in extreme duty environments. Frontal crashes of heavy trucks can pose a threat to truck occupants when the vehicle strikes another large object such as bridge works, large natural features or another heavy-duty vehicle. Investigations of heavy truck frontal crashes indicate that the factors listed above all affect the outcome for the driver and the resulting damage to the truck
Recently, a new chassis was introduced for on-highway heavy truck models that feature frontal airbag occupant protection. This introduction presented an opportunity to incorporate the knowledge gained from crash investigation into the process for developing the crash sensor's parameter settings. Extensive finite element simulation of the vehicles and crash events, with an additional focus on the crash sensor requirements, analyzed many variables and led to an efficient test plan.
Specialized barrier crash testing combined with this simulation to produce the input necessary to reliably discriminate between must-fire and no-fire frontal crash events. This development process resulted in a robust crash sensing system and effective occupant restraint systems for heavy trucks equipped with this new chassis.