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Technical Paper

Improved ATD Positioning Procedures

Current anthropomorphic test device (ATD) positioning procedures for drivers and front-seat passengers place the crash dummy within the vehicle by reference to the seat track. Midsize-male ATDs are placed at the center of the fore-aft seat track adjustment range, while small-female and large-male ATDs are placed at the front and rear of the seat track, respectively. Research on occupant positioning at UMTRI led to the development of a new ATD positioning procedure that places the ATDs at positions more representative of the driving positions of people who match the ATD's body dimensions. This paper presents a revised version of the UMTRI ATD positioning procedure. The changes to the procedure improve the ease and repeatability of ATD positioning while preserving the accuracy of the resulting ATD positions with respect to the driving positions of people matching the ATD anthropometry.
Technical Paper

Facial, Periorbital and Ocular Injuries Related to Steering-Wheel Airbag Deployments

To determine the frequency of facial injuries from steering-wheel airbag deployments, 540 consecutive steering-wheel airbag deployments, investigated by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) personnel, were reviewed. About 1 in 3 drivers sustain an injury to the face. Injuries to the area surrounding the eye (periorbital) or to the eyeball (ocular) rarely occur. The frequencies of facial or ocular injuries are the same for belted and unbelted drivers. Drivers of short stature had a higher frequency of facial injury. Females sustained ocular injuries more frequently than males. Untethered airbags were not overly involved in drivers with an ocular injury. No specific make or model car were overly represented in the ocular injury cases.
Technical Paper

ATD Positioning Based on Driver Posture and Position

Current ATD positioning practices depend on seat track position, seat track travel range, and design seatback angle to determine appropriate occupant position and orientation for impact testing. In a series of studies conducted at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, driver posture and position data were collected in forty-four vehicles. The seat track reference points currently used to position ATDs (front, center, and rear of the track) were found to be poor predictors of the average seat positions selected by small female, midsize male, and large male drivers. Driver-selected seatback angle was not closely related to design seatback angle, the measure currently used to orient the ATD torso. A new ATD Positioning Model was developed that more accurately represents the seated posture and position of drivers who match the ATD statures.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Airbag-Aggressivity Predictors in Relation to Forearm Fractures

Four unembalmed human cadavers were used in eight direct-forearm-airbag-interaction static deployments to assess the relative aggressivity of two different airbag modules. Instrumentation of the forearm bones included triaxial accelerometry, crack detection gages, and film targets. The forearm-fracture predictors, peak and average distal forearm speed (PDFS and ADFS), were evaluated and compared to the incidence of transverse, oblique, and wedge fractures of the radius and ulna. Internal-airbag pressure and axial column loads were also measured. The results of this study support the use of PDFS or ADFS for the prediction of airbag-induced upper-extremity fractures. The results also suggest that there is no direct relationship between internal-airbag pressure and forearm fracture. The less-aggressive system (LAS) examined in this study produced half the number of forearm fracture as the more-aggressive system (MAS), yet exhibited a more aggressive internal-pressure performance.
Technical Paper

Some Effects of Lumbar Support Contour on Driver Seated Posture

An appropriately contoured lumbar support is widely regarded as an essential component of a comfortable auto seat. A frequently stated objective for a lumbar support is to maintain the sitter's lumbar spine in a slightly extended, or lordotic, posture. Although sitters have been observed to sit with substantial lordosis in some short-duration testing, long-term postural interaction with a lumbar support has not been documented quantitatively in the automotive environment. A laboratory study was conducted to investigate driver posture with three seatback contours. Subjects† from four anthropometric groups operated an interactive laboratory driving simulator for one-hour trials. Posture data were collected by means of a sonic digitizing system. The data identify driver-selected postures over time for three lumbar support contours. An increase of 25 mm in the lumbar support prominence from a flat contour did not substantially change lumbar spine posture.
Technical Paper

Laboratory Investigations and Mathematical Modeling of Airbag-Induced Skin Burns

Although driver-side airbag systems provide protection against serious head and chest injuries in frontal impacts, injuries produced by the airbag itself have also been reported. Most of these injuries are relatively minor, and consist primarily of skin abrasions and burns. Previous investigations have addressed the mechanisms of airbag-induced skin abrasion. In the current research, laboratory studies related to the potential for thermal burns due to high-temperature airbag exhaust gas were conducted. A laboratory apparatus was constructed to produce a 10-mm-diameter jet of hot air that was directed onto the leg skin of human volunteers in time-controlled pulses. Skin burns were produced in 70 of 183 exposures conducted using air temperatures ranging from 350 to 550°C, air velocities from 50 to 90 m/s, and exposure durations from 50 to 300 ms.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical Investigation of Airbag-Induced Upper-Extremity Injuries

The factors that influence airbag-induced upper-extremity injuries sustained by drivers were investigated in this study. Seven unembalmed human cadavers were used in nineteen direct-forearm-interaction static deployments. A single horizontal-tear-seam airbag module and two different inflators were used. Spacing between the instrumented forearm and the airbag module was varied from 10 cm to direct contact in some tests. Forearm-bone instrumentation included triaxial accelerometry, crack detection gages, and film targets. Internal airbag pressure was also measured. The observed injuries were largely transverse, oblique, and wedge fractures of the ulna or radius, or both, similar to those reported in field investigations. Tears of the elbow joint capsule were also found, both with and without fracture of the forearm.
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.
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

A Laboratory Technique for Assessing the Skin Abrasion Potential of Airbags

In recent investigations of airbag deployments, drivers h v c reported abrasions to the face, neck, and forearms due to deploying airbags, A study of the airbag design and deployments parameters affecting the incidence and severity of abrasions caused by driver-side airbags has led to the development of a laboratory test procedure to evaluate the potential of an airbag design m cause skin injury This report describes the procedure, which is based an static deployments of airbags into a cylindrical lest fixture. The target area is covered with a material that responds to abrasion-producing events in a manner related to human skin tolerance. Test results show excellent correlation with abrasion injuries produced by airbag deployments into the skin of human volunteers.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Airbag-Induced Skin Abrasions

Static deployments of driver-side airbags into the legs of human subjects were used to investigate the effects of inflator capacity, internal airbag tethering, airbag fabric, and the distance from the module on airbag-induced skin abrasion. Abrasion mechanisms were described by measurements of airbag fabric velocity and target surface pressure. Airbag fabric kinematics resulting in three distinct abrasion patterns were identified. For all cases, abrasions were found to be caused primarily by high-velocity fabric impactrather than scraping associated with lateral fabric motion. Use of higher-capacity inflators increased abrasion severity, and untethered airbags produced more severe abrasions than tethered airbags at distances greater than the length of the tether. Abrasion severity decreased as the distance increased from 225 to 450 mm. Use of a finer-weave airbag fabric in place of a coarser-weave fabric did not decrease the severity of abrasion.
Technical Paper

An Investigation of Driver Discomfort and Related Seat Design Factors in Extended-Duration Driving

A study of automotive seating comfort and related design factors was conducted, utilizing subjective techniques of seat comfort assessment and objective measures of the seat/subject interaction. Eight male subjects evaluated four different test seats during a short-term seating session and throughout a three-hour driving simulation. For the latter, subjects operated a static laboratory driving simulator, performing body-area discomfort evaluations at thirty-minute intervals. Cross-modality matching (CMM), a subjective assessment technique in which a stimulus is rated by matching to the level of another stimulus, was used during the long-term driving simulation to evaluate discomfort. Subject posture, muscle activity in the lower back and abdomen, and pressure levels at key support locations on the seat were monitored. In addition, a sonic digitizing system was used to record seat indentation contours and to characterize the subjects' spinal contours.
Technical Paper

Effects of Seat and Sitter Dimensions on Pressure Distribution in Automotive Seats

Seat fit is characterized by the spatial relationship between the seat and the vehicle occupant’s body. Seat surface pressure distribution is one of the best available quantitative measures of this relationship. However, the relationships between sitter attributes, pressure, and seat fit have not been well established. The objective of this study is to model seat pressure distribution as a function of the dimensions of the seat and the occupant’s body. A laboratory study was conducted using 12 production driver seats from passenger vehicles and light trucks. Thirty-eight men and women sat in each seat in a driving mockup. Seat surface pressure distribution was measured on the seatback and cushion. Relevant anthropometric dimensions were recorded for each participant and standardized dimensions based on SAE J2732 (2008) were acquired for each test seat.
Technical Paper

Comparison of ATD and Driver Knee Positions

Contact between the knees and knee bolster commonly occurs in frontal collisions. The contact region on the bolster and the knee anatomy involved are related to the pre-crash positioning of the knees. The location of the distal (or infra-) patella was recorded on volunteers of widely varying stature after they had selected a comfortable driving position in mockups of three vehicles representing a large variation in size and shape: sedan, crossover SUV, and full-size pickup. On average, the right knees were grouped more tightly and were located more forward and lower than the left knees. On average, the knees were positioned 200 mm from the knee bolster for all subjects. The range of distance separating the distal patellae (within subject knee-to-knee distance) varied from 184–559 mm for all subjects for the three vehicles.
Technical Paper

Predicting the Effects of Muscle Activation on Knee, Thigh, and Hip Injuries in Frontal Crashes Using a Finite-Element Model with Muscle Forces from Subject Testing and Musculoskeletal Modeling

In a previous study, the authors reported on the development of a finite-element model of the midsize male pelvis and lower extremities with lower-extremity musculature that was validated using PMHS knee-impact response data. Knee-impact simulations with this model were performed using forces from four muscles in the lower extremities associated with two-foot bracing reported in the literature to provide preliminary estimates of the effects of lower-extremity muscle activation on knee-thigh-hip injury potential in frontal impacts. The current study addresses a major limitation of these preliminary simulations by using the AnyBody three-dimensional musculoskeletal model to estimate muscle forces produced in 35 muscles in each lower extremity during emergency one-foot braking.
Technical Paper

Validation of the Human Motion Simulation Framework: Posture Prediction for Standing Object Transfer Tasks

The Human Motion Simulation Framework is a hierarchical set of algorithms for physical task simulation and analysis. The Framework is capable of simulating a wide range of tasks, including standing and seated reaches, walking and carrying objects, and vehicle ingress and egress. In this paper, model predictions for the terminal postures of standing object transfer tasks are compared to data from 20 subjects with a wide range of body dimensions. Whole body postures were recorded using optical motion capture for one-handed and two-handed object transfers to target destinations at three angles from straight ahead and three heights. The hand and foot locations from the data were input to the HUMOSIM Framework Reference Implementation (HFRI) in the Jack human modeling software. The whole-body postures predicted by the HFRI were compared to the measured postures using a set of measures selected for their importance to ergonomic analysis.
Technical Paper

Modeling Ascending and Descending Stairs Using the Human Motion Simulation Framework

The Human Motion Simulation Framework (Framework) is a hierarchical set of algorithms for predicting and analyzing task-oriented human motion. The Framework was developed to improve the performance of commercial human modeling software by increasing the accuracy of predicted motions and the speed of generating simulations. This paper presents the addition of stair ascending and descending to the Transition Stepping and Timing (Transit) model, a component of the Framework that predicts gait and acyclic stepping.
Technical Paper

Simulating Complex Automotive Assembly Tasks using the HUMOSIM Framework

Efficient methods for simulating operators performing part handling tasks in manufacturing plants are needed. The simulation of part handling motions is an important step towards the implementation of virtual manufacturing for the purpose of improving worker productivity and reducing injuries in the workplace. However, industrial assembly tasks are often complex and involve multiple interactions between workers and their environment. The purpose of this paper is to present a series of industrial simulations using the Human Motion Simulation Framework developed at the University of Michigan. Three automotive assembly operations spanning scenarios, such as small and large parts, tool use, walking, re-grasping, reaching inside a vehicle, etc. were selected.
Technical Paper

Anthropometry for WorldSID A World-Harmonized Midsize Male Side Impact Crash Dummy

The WorldSID project is a global effort to design a new generation side impact crash test dummy under the direction of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The first WorldSID crash dummy will represent a world-harmonized mid-size adult male. This paper discusses the research and rationale undertaken to define the anthropometry of a world standard midsize male in the typical automotive seated posture. Various anthropometry databases are compared region by region and in terms of the key dimensions needed for crash dummy design. The Anthropometry for Motor Vehicle Occupants (AMVO) dataset, as established by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), is selected as the basis for the WorldSID mid-size male, updated to include revisions to the pelvis bone location. The proposed mass of the dummy is 77.3kg with full arms. The rationale for the selected mass is discussed. The joint location and surface landmark database is appended to this paper.
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.