Performance of Collision Damage Mitigation Braking Systems and their Effects on Human Injury in the Event of Car-to-Pedestrian Accidents 2011-22-0017
The number of traffic deaths in Japan was 4,863 in 2010. Pedestrians account for the highest number (1,714, 35%), and vehicle occupants the second highest (1,602, 33%). Pedestrian protection is a key countermeasure to reduce casualties in traffic accidents. A striking vehicle's impact velocity could be considered a parameter influencing the severity of injury and possibility of death in pedestrian crashes. A collision damage mitigation braking system (CDMBS) using a sensor to detect pedestrians could be effective for reducing the vehicle/pedestrian impact velocity. Currently in Japan, cars equipped with the CDMBS also have vision sensors such as a stereo camera for pedestrian detection. However, the ability of vision sensors in production cars to properly detect pedestrians has not yet been established. The effect of reducing impact velocity on the pedestrian injury risk has also not been determined. The first objective of this study is to evaluate the performance of the CDMBS in detecting pedestrians when it is installed in production cars. The second objective of this study is to evaluate the effect of reducing impact velocity on mitigating pedestrian injury. Firstly, impact experiments were performed using a car with the CDMBS in which the car collided with a pedestrian surrogate. In these tests, the velocity was chosen for the various test runs to be 20, 40 and 60 km/h, respectively, which were based on the velocity distribution in real-world pedestrian crashes. The results indicated that the impact velocity reduction ranged approximately from 10 to 15 km/h at the standing location of a pedestrian surrogate at both daytime and nighttime lighting conditions. These results show that the system has the potential to reduce pedestrian casualties from car-to-pedestrian contacts. Secondly, finite-element analyses were performed simulating vehicle-to- pedestrian impacts with the THUMS pedestrian models. The vehicle models selected for the study included a medium sedan, a minicar, and an SUV. Since head and chest injuries are the most typical causes of pedestrian deaths in car-to-pedestrian accidents, the risk of head and chest injuries was calculated when the impact velocity was reduced from 50 km/h to 40 km/h, 30km/h, and 20 km/h. The results revealed that an impact velocity reduction of 10 km/h mitigated severe pedestrian injury at impact velocities greater than or equal to 40 km/h. Specifically, a significant effect was observed in collisions with the medium sedan and SUV. In Japan, the CDMBS has just started to be installed in medium sedans. The pedestrian injury mitigation will be greatly improved if the system can be applied to various types of vehicles including SUVs in the future.