Browse Publications Technical Papers 2012-01-0047

Airbag System Applied to Microvans 2012-01-0047

Today, microvans (a cost effective version of minivans) in China provide transportation for people as well as for goods. Due to their lower prices, airbags for the driver and the front passenger are not standard but only an option in some high end models. This paper describes the procedures that were used in an airbag system development based on a contract with one of the microvan makers to install front airbags in the majority of microvans in production. Front impact tests demonstrated that when airbags were installed for the driver and the front passenger, head injury parameters were reduced significantly. It also shows that front impact characteristics of microvans are different from other vehicles. In particular, the peak accelerations and the rates in high speed impacts are high, and the times to reach the peaks are early as compared to SUVs and other small passenger cars. The development of the airbag system control algorithm for microvans is summarized here. Impact verification tests have shown that the algorithm based on a combined “Time Window+Acceleration Change + Angled Impact Recognition” method satisfied the requirements of the microvans must-not-deploy and must-deploy conditions. Additionally, the important purpose of this work is to emphasize that airbag systems should not be optional and encourage other microvan makers to install front airbag systems as the standard safety measure.


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