The effects of small seat swiveling angles on occupant responses during a frontal impact 2020-01-0571
In highly automated vehicles (HAV), new seat configurations may allow occupants to perform new activities. Among other designs, current HAV concepts include swiveled seats, which might facilitate communication between occupants. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of seat swiveling angle on occupant kinematics and injury criteria predicted by a Human Body Model (HBM) during a frontal impact. A detailed 50th percentile HBM (GHBMC M50-O) was subjected to two frontal crash pulses in a sled setup. The model was positioned on a semi-rigid seat and restrained using a pre-inflated airbag and a three-point seatbelt. Simulations included three seat swiveling angles (0, -10, -20, and -30 degrees ), three occupant positions (Sedan driver, large VAN driver or Laptop user), two airbag initial locations (nominal or matching the head Y location), and the inclusion of seat pan lateral supports.
With the airbag in the nominal location, higher seat swiveling angles led to more head lateral displacement and higher values of head injury criteria, especially for the BrIC. This was mitigated by aligning the airbag location with the head. Without modification of the airbag location, the Sedan driver position had higher BrIC values and fewer rib fractures than the other two positions. Increasing seat swiveling angles affected the responses in a similar way for all occupant positions. The 30 degrees seat swiveling also resulted in pelvic fractures, which was prevented by the lateral supports.
Overall, the model response was affected by both seating configuration and occupant posture, suggesting that swiveled seating may increase the injury risk, especially for the head and pelvis. However, simple countermeasures seemed possible to mitigate the risk.
Cyrille Grébonval, Xavier Trosseille, Philippe Petit, Xuguang Wang, Philippe Beillas