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Technical Paper

PMHS Impact Response in 3 m/s and 8 m/s Nearside Impacts with Abdomen Offset

Lateral impact tests were performed using seven male post-mortem human subjects (PMHS) to characterize the force-deflection response of contacted body regions, including the lower abdomen. All tests were performed using a dual-sled, side-impact test facility. A segmented impactor was mounted on a sled that was pneumatically accelerated into a second, initially stationary sled on which a subject was seated facing perpendicular to the direction of impact. Positions of impactor segments were adjusted for each subject so that forces applied to different anatomic regions, including thorax, abdomen, greater trochanter, iliac wing, and thigh, could be independently measured on each PMHS. The impactor contact surfaces were located in the same vertical plane, except that the abdomen plate was offset 5.1 cm towards the subject.
Technical Paper

Understanding Work Task Assessment Sensitivity to the Prediction of Standing Location

Digital human models (DHM) are now widely used to assess worker tasks as part of manufacturing simulation. With current DHM software, the simulation engineer or ergonomist usually makes a manual estimate of the likely worker standing location with respect to the work task. In a small number of cases, the worker standing location is determined through physical testing with one or a few workers. Motion capture technology is sometimes used to aid in quantitative analysis of the resulting posture. Previous research has demonstrated the sensitivity of work task assessment using DHM to the accuracy of the posture prediction. This paper expands on that work by demonstrating the need for a method and model to accurately predict worker standing location. The effect of standing location on work task posture and the resulting assessment is documented through three case studies using the Siemens Jack DHM software.
Technical Paper

Design and Testing of a Child Restraint for Developing Countries Using Low-Technology Manufacturing Methods

As passenger car use becomes more common in developing countries, the number of child passengers killed and injuries also increases. Rates of child restraint use appear to be much lower in developing countries than in the U.S. or Europe. One barrier to increased restraint use is the relatively high cost of child restraints in low- and middle-income countries, where the cost of child restraints can be similar to the U.S. but incomes and typical vehicle prices are much lower. As part of a broader effort to improve child passenger safety worldwide, a team at the University of Michigan has begun development of a child restraint that is intended to be fabricated using low-cost technology in developing countries with minimal capital investment. Providing a design that has been tested successfully to regulatory standards may reduce barriers to entry and allow the restraints to be marketed at low prices.
Technical Paper

Standing Reach Envelopes Incorporating Anthropometric Variance and Postural Cost

Standing reach envelopes are important tools for the design of industrial and vehicle environments. Previous work in this area has focussed on manikin-based (where a few manikins are used to simulate individuals reaching within the region of interest) and population-based (where data are gathered on many individuals reaching in a constrained environment) approaches. Each of these methods has merits and shortfalls. The current work bridges the manikin- and population-based approaches to assessing reach by creating population models using kinematic simulation techniques driven by anthropometric data. The approach takes into account body dimensions, balance, and postural cost to create continuous models that can be used to assess designs with respect to both maximal and submaximal reaches. Cost is quantified as the degree to which the torso is involved in the reach, since the inclination of the torso is a good measure of lower-back load and may be related to subjective reach difficulty.
Technical Paper

The HUMOSIM Ergonomics Framework: A New Approach to Digital Human Simulation for Ergonomic Analysis

The potential of digital human modeling to improve the design of products and workspaces has been limited by the time-consuming manual manipulation of figures that is required to perform simulations. Moreover, the inaccuracies in posture and motion that result from manual procedures compromise the fidelity of the resulting analyses. This paper presents a new approach to the control of human figure models and the analysis of simulated tasks. The new methods are embodied in an algorithmic framework developed in the Human Motion Simulation (HUMOSIM) laboratory at the University of Michigan. The framework consists of an interconnected, hierarchical set of posture and motion modules that control aspects of human behavior, such as gaze or upper-extremity motion. Analysis modules, addressing issues such as shoulder stress and balance, are integrated into the framework.
Technical Paper

Optimizing Vehicle Occupant Packaging

Occupant packaging practice relies on statistical models codified in SAE practices, such as the SAE J941 eyellipse, and virtual human figure models representing individual occupants. The current packaging approach provides good solutions when the problem is relatively unconstrained, but achieving good results when many constraints are active, such as restricted headroom and sightlines, requires a more rigorous approach. Modeling driver needs using continuous models that retain the residual variance associated with performance and preference allows use of optimization methodologies developed for robust design. Together, these models and methods facilitate the consideration of multiple factors simultaneously and tradeoff studies can be performed. A case study involving the layout of the interior of a passenger car is presented, focusing on simultaneous placement of the seat and steering wheel adjustment ranges.
Technical Paper

Digital Human Modeling Research and Development User Needs Panel

This panel provided a forum for discussion of future research and development desired by users and potential users of DHM technologies. The discussion was based on the experiences of users from various sectors and industries. Panelists provided written statements and delivered short presentations prior to opening the session to audience discussion. The panel was designed to inform and drive research and development plans to fill these needs.
Technical Paper

A New Database of Child Anthropometry and Seated Posture for Automotive Safety Applications

This paper presents a laboratory study of body dimensions, seated posture, and seatbelt fit for children weighing from 40 to 100 lb (18 to 45 kg). Sixty-two boys and girls were measured in three vehicle seats with and without each of three belt-positioning boosters. In addition to standard anthropometric measurements, three-dimensional body landmark locations were recorded with a coordinate digitizer in sitter-selected and standardized postures. This new database quantifies the vehicle-seated postures of children and provides quantitative evidence of the effects of belt-positioning boosters on belt fit. The data will provide guidance for child restraint design, crash dummy development, and crash dummy positioning procedures.
Technical Paper

Assessing the Validity of Kinematically Generated Reach Envelopes for Simulations of Vehicle Operators

Assessments of reach capability using human figure models are commonly performed by exercising each joint of a kinematic chain, terminating in the hand, through the associated ranges of motion. The result is a reach envelope determined entirely by the segment lengths, joint degrees of freedom, and joint ranges of motion. In this paper, the validity of this approach is assessed by comparing the reach envelopes obtained by this method to those obtained in a laboratory study of men and women. Figures were created in the Jack human modeling software to represent the kinematic linkages of participants in the laboratory study. Maximum reach was predicted using the software's kinematic reach-envelope generation methods and by interactive manipulation. Predictions were compared to maximum reach envelopes obtained experimentally. The findings indicate that several changes to the normal procedures for obtaining maximum reach envelopes for seated tasks are needed.
Technical Paper

A New Approach to Modeling Driver Reach

The reach capability of drivers is currently represented in vehicle design practice in two ways. The SAE Recommended Practice J287 presents maximum reach capability surfaces for selected percentiles of a generic driving population. Driver reach is also simulated using digital human figure models. In typical applications, a family of figure models that span a large range of the target driver population with respect to body dimensions is positioned within a digital mockup of the driver's workstation. The articulated segments of the figure model are exercised to simulate reaching motions and driver capabilities are calculated from the constraints of the kinematic model. Both of these current methods for representing driver reach are substantially limited. The J287 surfaces are not configurable for population characteristics, do not provide the user with the ability to adjust accommodation percentiles, and do not provide any guidance on the difficulty of reaches that are attainable.
Technical Paper

A Pilot Study of the Effects of Vertical Ride Motion on Reach Kinematics

Vehicle motions can adversely affect the ability of a driver or occupant to quickly and accurately push control buttons located in many advanced vehicle control, navigation and communications systems. A pilot study was conducted using the U.S. Army Tank Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) Ride Motion Simulator (RMS) to assess the effects of vertical ride motion on the kinematics of reaching. The RMS was programmed to produce 0.5 g and 0.8 g peak-to-peak sinusoidal inputs at the seat-sitter interface over a range of frequencies. Two participants performed seated reaching tasks to locations typical of in-vehicle controls under static conditions and with single-frequency inputs between 0 and 10 Hz. The participants also held terminal reach postures during 0.5 to 32 Hz sine sweeps. Reach kinematics were recorded using a 10-camera VICON motion capture system. The effects of vertical ride motion on movement time, accuracy, and subjective responses were assessed.
Technical Paper

Modeling Population Distributions of Subjective Ratings

Most human figure models used in ergonomic analyses present postural comfort ratings based on joint angles, and present a single comfort score for the whole body or on a joint-by-joint basis. The source data for these ratings is generally derived from laboratory studies that link posture to ratings. Lacking in many of these models is a thorough treatment of the distribution of ratings for the population of users. Information about ratings distributions is necessary to make cost-effective tradeoffs when design changes affect subjective responses. This paper presents experimental and analytic methods used to develop distribution models for incorporating subjective rating data in ergonomic assessments.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Methods for Predicting Automobile Driver Posture

Recent research in the ASPECT (Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools) program has led to the development of a new method for automobile driver posture prediction, known as the Cascade Model. The Cascade Model uses a sequential series of regression functions and inverse kinematics to predict automobile occupant posture. This paper presents an alternative method for driver posture prediction using data-guided kinematic optimization. The within-subject conditional distributions of joint angles are used to infer the internal cost functions that guide tradeoffs between joints in adapting to different vehicle configurations. The predictions from the two models are compared to in-vehicle driving postures.
Technical Paper

ASPECT Manikin Applications and Measurements for Design, Audit, and Benchmarking

The ASPECT (Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools) manikin provides new capabilities for vehicle and seat measurement while maintaining continuity with previous practices. This paper describes how the manikin is used in the development of new designs, the audit verification of build, and in benchmarking competitive vehicles and seats. The measurement procedures are discussed in detail, along with the seat and package dimensions that are associated with the new tool.
Technical Paper

Design and Development of the ASPECT Manikin

The primary objective of the ASPECT (Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools) program was to develop a new generation of the SAE J826 H-point manikin. The new ASPECT manikin builds on the long-term success of the H-point manikin while adding new measurement capability and improved ease of use. The ASPECT manikin features an articulated torso linkage to measure lumbar support prominence; new contours based on human subject data; a new weighting scheme; lightweight, supplemental thigh, leg, and shoe segments; and a simpler, user-friendly installation procedure. This paper describes the new manikin in detail, including the rationale and motivation for the design features. The ASPECT manikin maintains continuity with the current SAE J826 H-point manikin in important areas while providing substantial new measurement capability.
Technical Paper

Automobile Occupant Posture Prediction for Use with Human Models

A new method of predicting automobile occupant posture is presented. The Cascade Prediction Model approach combines multiple independent predictions of key postural degrees of freedom with inverse kinematics guided by data-based heuristics. The new model, based on posture data collected in laboratory mockups and validated using data from actual vehicles, produces accurate posture predictions for a wide range of passenger car interior geometries. Inputs to the model include vehicle package dimensions, seat characteristics, and occupant anthropometry. The Cascade Prediction Model was developed to provide accurate posture prediction for use with any human CAD model, and is applicable to many vehicle design and safety assessment applications.
Technical Paper

New Concepts in Vehicle Interior Design Using ASPECT

The ASPECT (Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools) program developed a new physical manikin for seat measurement and new techniques for integrating the seat measurements into the vehicle design process. This paper presents an overview of new concepts in vehicle interior design that have resulted from the ASPECT program and other studies of vehicle occupant posture and position conducted at UMTRI. The new methods result from an integration of revised versions of the SAE seat position and eyellipse models with the new tools developed in ASPECT. Measures of seat and vehicle interior geometry are input to statistical posture and position prediction tools that can be applied to any specified user population or individual occupant anthropometry.
Technical Paper

Methods for Laboratory Investigation of Airbag-Induced Thermal Skin Burns

Two new techniques for investigating the thermal skin-burn potential of airbags are presented. A reduced-volume airbag test procedure has been developed to obtain airbag pressures that are representative of a dynamic ridedown event during a static deployment. Temperature and heat flux measurements made with this procedure can be used to predict airbag thermal burn potential. Measurements from the reduced-volume procedure are complemented by data obtained using two gas-jet simulators, called heatguns. Gas is vented in controlled bursts from a large, heated, pressurized tank of gas onto a target surface. Heat flux measurements on the target surface have been used to develop quantitative models of the relationships between gas jet characteristics and burn potential.
Technical Paper

An Improved Seating Accommodation Model with Application to Different User Populations

A new approach to driver seat-position modeling is presented. The equations of the Seating Accommodation Model (SAM) separately predict parameters of the distributions of male and female fore/aft seat position in a given vehicle. These distributions are used together to predict specific percentiles of the combined male-and-female seat-position distribution. The effects of vehicle parameters-seat height, steering-wheel-to-accelerator pedal distance, seat-cushion angle, and transmission type-are reflected in the prediction of mean seat position. The mean and standard deviation of driver population stature are included in the prediction for the mean and standard deviation of the seat-position distribution, respectively. SAM represents a new, more flexible approach to predicting fore/aft seat-position distributions for any driver population in passenger vehicles. Model performance is good, even at percentiles in the tails of the distribution.
Technical Paper

Development of an Improved Driver Eye Position Model

SAE Recommended Practice J941 describes the eyellipse, a statistical representation of driver eye locations, that is used to facilitate design decisions regarding vehicle interiors, including the display locations, mirror placement, and headspace requirements. Eye-position data collected recently at University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) suggest that the SAE J941 practice could be improved. SAE J941 currently uses the SgRP location, seat-track travel (L23), and design seatback angle (L40) as inputs to the eyellipse model. However, UMTRI data show that the characteristics of empirical eyellipses can be predicted more accurately using seat height, steering-wheel position, and seat-track rise. A series of UMTRI studies collected eye-location data from groups of 50 to 120 drivers with statures spanning over 97 percent of the U.S. population. Data were collected in thirty-three vehicles that represent a wide range of vehicle geometry.