Driver Restraint System Optimization for Vehicle Frontal Impact 2015-36-0263
In 2010, the UN General Assembly proclaimed the period 2011-2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety, with a goal to stabilize and then reduce the forecast level of road traffic fatalities around the world.
Road traffic accidents are the 8th cause of death in Brazil, according to World Health Rankings. There are few studies around the world with respect to cost due to traffic accidents, however a study performed in 2011 estimates that were spent R$ 44.6 billion in Brazil. So, the recent Brazilian regulations updates have enforced the automakers to develop vehicles safer to passengers and pedestrians. These regulations focus on prevent, reduce or minimize the traumas and injuries caused by different types of vehicular accidents.
The present work was developed to optimize the driver restraint system, while focusing on minimizing the trauma during a vehicle frontal impact. The driver restraint system was optimized considering the complex interaction between the ATD and the different components that assemble the restraint system, like airbag, safety belts with/without pre-tensioners, seatbelt load limiting devices and steering column stroke.
The numerical computational simulations were performed based on Design of Experiments (DOE), which is a powerful tool that allows for multiple input factors to be manipulated determining their effect on a desired output. The numerical computational model created was initially correlated with a physical test, and then 36 numerical simulations were performed in order to create the optimization matrix.
The optimized parameters provided by the analysis of the DOE orthogonal matrix were simulated and showed a significant reduction at probability of injuries due to vehicle frontal impact. The computational numerical optimization tool helped to reduce the cost and time development of a safer vehicle that satisfies the current Brazilian regulations, focusing on driver performance. The results presented excellent correlation and the goals of the optimization were achieved showing that this tool is reliable and helpful for current and future developments.