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Technical Paper

Comfortable Head and Neck Postures in Reclined Seating for Use in Automobile Head Rest Design

Little information is available on passenger preferences for posture and support in highly reclined seat configurations. To address this gap, a laboratory study was conducted with 24 adult passengers at seat back angles from 23 to 53 degrees. Passenger preferences for head and neck posture with and without head support were recorded. This paper presents the characteristics of the passengers’ preferred head support with respect to thorax, head, and neck posture.
Technical Paper

Sensations Associated with Motion Sickness Response during Passenger Vehicle Operations on a Test Track

Motion sickness in road vehicles may become an increasingly important problem as automation transforms drivers into passengers. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute has developed a vehicle-based platform to study motion sickness in passenger vehicles. A test-track study was conducted with 52 participants who reported susceptibility to motion sickness. The participants completed in-vehicle testing on a 20-minute scripted, continuous drive that consisted of a series of frequent 90-degree turns, braking, and lane changes at the U-M Mcity facility. In addition to quantifying their level of motion sickness on a numerical scale, participants were asked to describe in words any motion-sickness-related sensations they experienced.
Technical Paper

In-Vehicle Occupant Head Tracking Using aLow-Cost Depth Camera

Analyzing dynamic postures of vehicle occupants in various situations is valuable for improving occupant accommodation and safety. Accurate tracking of an occupant’s head is of particular importance because the head has a large range of motion, controls gaze, and may require special protection in dynamic events including crashes. Previous vehicle occupant posture studies have primarily used marker-based optical motion capture systems or multiple video cameras for tracking facial features or markers on the head. However, the former approach has limitations for collecting on-road data, and the latter is limited by requiring intensive manual postprocessing to obtain suitable accuracy. This paper presents an automated on-road head tracking method using a single Microsoft Kinect V2 sensor, which uses a time-of-flight measurement principle to obtain a 3D point cloud representing objects in the scene at approximately 30 Hz.
Technical Paper

Statistical Modeling of Automotive Seat Shapes

Automotive seats are commonly described by one-dimensional measurements, including those documented in SAE J2732. However, 1-D measurements provide minimal information on seat shape. The goal of this work was to develop a statistical framework to analyze and model the surface shapes of seats by using techniques similar to those that have been used for modeling human body shapes. The 3-D contour of twelve driver seats of a pickup truck and sedans were scanned and aligned, and 408 landmarks were identified using a semi-automatic process. A template mesh of 18,306 vertices was morphed to match the scan at the landmark positions, and the remaining nodes were automatically adjusted to match the scanned surface. A principal component (PC) analysis was performed on the resulting homologous meshes. Each seat was uniquely represented by a set of PC scores; 10 PC scores explained 95% of the total variance. This new shape description has many applications.
Technical Paper

Rapid Development of Diverse Human Body Models for Crash Simulations through Mesh Morphing

Current finite element (FE) human body models (HBMs) generally only represent young and mid-size male occupants and do not account for body shape and composition variations among the population. Because it generally takes several years to build a whole-body HBM, a method to rapidly develop HBMs with a wide range of human attributes (size, age, obesity level, etc.) is critically needed. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using a mesh morphing method to rapidly generate skeleton and whole-body HBMs based on statistical geometry targets developed previously. THUMS V4.01 mid-size male model jointly developed by Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Central R&D Labs was used in this study as the baseline HBM to be morphed. Radial basis function (RBF) was used to morph the baseline model into the target geometries.
Journal Article

Evaluation of the Seat Index Point Tool for Military Seats

This study evaluated the ISO 5353 Seat Index Point Tool (SIPT) as an alternative to the SAE J826 H-point manikin for measuring military seats. A tool was fabricated based on the ISO specification and a custom back-angle measurement probe was designed and fitted to the SIPT. Comparisons between the two tools in a wide range of seating conditions showed that the mean SIP location was 5 mm aft of the H-point, with a standard deviation of 7.8 mm. Vertical location was not significantly different between the two tools (mean - 0.7 mm, sd 4.0 mm). A high correlation (r=0.9) was observed between the back angle measurements from the two tools. The SIPT was slightly more repeatable across installations and installers than the J826 manikin, with most of the discrepancy arising from situations with flat seat cushion angles and either unusually upright or reclined back angles that caused the J826 manikin to be unstable.
Technical Paper

Installed Positions of Child Restraint Systems in Vehicle Second Rows

This study documented the position and orientation of child restraint systems (CRS) installed in the second rows of vehicles, creating a database of 486 installations. Thirty-one different CRS were evaluated, selected to provide a range of manufacturers, sizes, types, and weight limits. Eleven CRS were rear-facing only, fourteen were convertibles, five were combination restraints, and one was a booster. Ten top-selling vehicles were selected to provide a range of manufacturers and body styles: four sedans, four SUVS, one minivan, and one wagon. CRS were marked with three reference points on each moving component. The contours and landmarks of each CRS were first measured in the laboratory. Vehicle interior contours, belt anchors, and LATCH anchors were measured using a similar process. Then each CRS was installed in a vehicle using LATCH according to manufacturers' directions, and the reference points of each CRS component were measured to document the installed orientation.