Inflatable Curtain (IC) Activation in L-type Side Impacts 2010-01-1156
The Inflatable Curtain (IC) has shown great potential to reduce head injuries in side impacts. This study explores and presents enhanced performance in two steps of improved activation algorithms.
Crash data analysis, 21 full scale crash tests and component tests in a custom built drop tower rig have been performed. The IC performance in wider crash scenarios, including side impacts outside the occupant compartment (L-type impacts), was evaluated. Both statistical crash data and in-depth studies were used.
It was found in the analysis of real life crashes that moderate to fatal head injuries can occur without intrusion in the occupant compartment. In L-type side impacts, the motion of the occupant relative to the vehicle interior may cause a head impact of sufficiently high severity to cause moderate to severe head injuries. A combined analysis of real world crash data and crash test results indicates that a substantial reduction in moderate to fatal head injuries can be achieved.
As a result, substantial improvements in L-type impacts were achieved by introducing an IC activation method with new associated threshold tests. The improved sensor algorithm utilizes the tunnel acceleration signals. In a second step, to further optimize the activation performance, a yaw rate sensor and associated algorithms will be introduced. This improves discrimination of L-type impacts and enables a selective protection system activation strategy for best real life safety benefits.