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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

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

Upper-Extremity Injuries From Steering Wheel Airbag Deployments

In a review of 540 crashes in which the steering-wheel airbag deployed, 38% of the drivers sustained some level of upper extremity injury. The majority of these were AIS-1 injuries including abrasions, contusions and small lacerations. In 18 crashes the drivers sustained AIS-2 or-3 level upper extremity injuries, including fractures of the radius and/or ulna, or of the metacarpal bones, all related to airbag deployments. It was determined that six drivers sustained the fracture(s) directly from the deploying airbag or the airbag module cover. The remaining 12 drivers had fractures from the extremity being flung into interior vehicle structures, usually the instrument panel. Most drivers were taller than 170 cm and, of the 18 drivers, 10 were males.
Technical Paper

Tests Characterizing Performance of an Adaptive Cruise Control System

The tests described here have been used to provide a preliminary checkout of the control functionality of a prototype adaptive cruise control (ACC) system being used in a field operational test of intelligent cruise control. The results presented provide an initial characterization of the headway control performance of the ACC system. The inputs to these tests are the speed of the preceding vehicle. The results of the tests are based upon measurements of range, range rate, velocity, transmission shift commands, and velocity commands resident within the ACC system. Numerical performance measures are derived from these data and used to characterize system performance quantitatively. Results from these types of tests could be used in assessing differences in headway control characteristics associated with various ACC systems.
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

Effects of Large-Radius Convex Rearview Mirrors on Driver Perception

The U.S. currently requires that reai-view mirrors installed as original equipment in the center and driver-side positions be flat. There has recently been interest in using nonplanar mirrors in those positions, including possibly mirrors with large radii (over 2 m). This has provided additional motivation to understand the effects of mirror curvature on drivers' perceptions of distance and speed. This paper addresses this issue by (1) reviewing the concepts from perceptual theory that are most relevant to predicting and understanding how drivers judge distance in nonplanar rearview mirrors, and (2) reviewing the past empirical studies that have manipulated mirror curvature and measured some aspect of distance perception. The effects of mirror curvature on cues for distance perception do not lead to simple predictions. The most obvious model is one based on visual angle, according to which convex mirrors should generally lead to overestimation of distances.
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

Distribution of Automobile Trip Durations for Studies of Seat Comfort

Data from the 1990 U.S. Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey were analyzed to determine the distribution of trip durations and sitting times for use in the design of automobile seat comfort studies. Two measures relating to the incidence and prevalence of long-term sitting were calculated and presented for the U.S. population and various subgroups. The information can be used to select an appropriate test duration for comfort studies. The subgroup data allow the test duration to be tailored for specific market segments.
Technical Paper

Development of a New Seating Accommodation Model

Dynamic seat-position testing conducted recently at UMTRI on several different vehicles indicates that, in many cases, the current seating accommodation model represented in SAE J1517 does not accurately predict the distribution of driver seat positions. In general, J1517 tends to predict population percentile seat positions that are forward of observed percentile seat positions, and differences can be as much as 60 mm. It was hypothesized that vehicle factors other than seat height can have substantial and independent effects on driver seat position. The effects of steering-wheel position, seat height, seat-cushion angle, and transmission type on driver fore/aft seat position are being investigated, and results are being used to develop a new driver seating accommodation model called SAM.
Technical Paper

Lumbar Support in Auto Seats: Conclusions from a Study of Preferred Driving Posture

Prominent, longitudinally convex lumbar supports are frequently recommended for auto seats based on the assumption that such supports will induce sitters to choose postures with substantial lumbar lordosis. Lumbar lordosis has been associated with reduced spine loading as measured by pressure in the intervertebral disks. Data from a laboratory study of the influence of lumbar support on driving posture demonstrate that, on average, lumbar lordosis is not strongly affected by large increases in lumbar support prominence. These findings, and their implications for seat design, are reviewed.
Technical Paper

Factors Associated With Abdominal Injury in Frontal, Farside, and Nearside Crashes

The NASS-CDS (1998-2008) and CIREN datasets were analyzed to identify factors contributing to abdominal injury in crash environments where belt use and airbag deployment are common. In frontal impacts, the percentage of occupants sustaining abdominal injury is three times higher for unbelted compared to belted front-row adult occupants (p≺0.0001) at both AIS2+ and AIS3+ injury levels. Airbag deployment does not substantially affect the percentage of occupants who sustain abdominal injuries in frontal impacts (p=0.6171), while belt use reduces the percentage of occupants sustaining abdominal injury in both nearside and farside crashes (p≺0.0001). Right-front passengers in right-side impacts have the highest risk (1.91%) of AIS 3+ abdominal injury (p=0.03). The percentage of occupants with AIS 3+ abdominal injuries does not vary with age for frontal, nearside, or farside impacts.
Technical Paper

Modeling Vehicle Ingress and Egress Using the Human Motion Simulation Framework

The ease of getting into and out of passenger cars and light trucks is a critical component of customer acceptance and product differentiation. In commercial vehicles, the health and safety of drivers is affected by the design of the steps and handholds they use to get into and out of the cab. Ingress/egress assessment appears to represent a substantial application opportunity for digital human models. The complexity of the design space and the range of possible biomechanical and subjective measures of interest mean that developing useful empirical models is difficult, requiring large-scale subject testing with physical mockups. Yet, ingress and egress motions are complex and strongly affected by the geometric constraints and driver attributes, posing substantial challenges in creating meaningful simulations using figure models.
Technical Paper

A Multi-Modality Image Data Collection Protocol for Full Body Finite Element Model Development

This study outlines a protocol for image data collection acquired from human volunteers. The data set will serve as the foundation of a consolidated effort to develop the next generation full-body Finite Element Analysis (FEA) models for injury prediction and prevention. The geometry of these models will be based off the anatomy of four individuals meeting extensive prescreening requirements and representing the 5th and 50th percentile female, and the 50th and 95th percentile male. Target values for anthropometry are determined by literature sources. Because of the relative strengths of various modalities commonly in use today in the clinical and engineering worlds, a multi-modality approach is outlined. This approach involves the use of Computed Tomography (CT), upright and closed-bore Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and external anthropometric measurements.
Technical Paper

Development and Validation of an Older Occupant Finite Element Model of a Mid-Sized Male for Investigation of Age-related Injury Risk

The aging population is a growing concern as the increased fragility and frailty of the elderly results in an elevated incidence of injury as well as an increased risk of mortality and morbidity. To assess elderly injury risk, age-specific computational models can be developed to directly calculate biomechanical metrics for injury. The first objective was to develop an older occupant Global Human Body Models Consortium (GHBMC) average male model (M50) representative of a 65 year old (YO) and to perform regional validation tests to investigate predicted fractures and injury severity with age. Development of the GHBMC M50 65 YO model involved implementing geometric, cortical thickness, and material property changes with age. Regional validation tests included a chest impact, a lateral impact, a shoulder impact, a thoracoabdominal impact, an abdominal bar impact, a pelvic impact, and a lateral sled test.
Technical Paper

Integration of Active and Passive Safety Technologies - A Method to Study and Estimate Field Capability

The objective of this study is to develop a method that uses a combination of field data analysis, naturalistic driving data analysis, and computational simulations to explore the potential injury reduction capabilities of integrating passive and active safety systems in frontal impact conditions. For the purposes of this study, the active safety system is actually a driver assist (DA) feature that has the potential to reduce delta-V prior to a crash, in frontal or other crash scenarios. A field data analysis was first conducted to estimate the delta-V distribution change based on an assumption of 20% crash avoidance resulting from a pre-crash braking DA feature. Analysis of changes in driver head location during 470 hard braking events in a naturalistic driving study found that drivers’ head positions were mostly in the center position before the braking onset, while the percentage of time drivers leaning forward or backward increased significantly after the braking onset.
Technical Paper

A Pilot Study of Occupant Accommodation and Seat Belt Fit for Law Enforcement Officers

Law enforcement officers (LEO) make extensive use of vehicles to perform their jobs, often spending large portions of a shift behind the wheel. Few LEO vehicles are purpose-built; the vast majority are modified civilian vehicles. Data from the field indicate that LEO suffer from relatively high levels musculoskeletal injury that may be due in part to poor accommodation provided by their vehicles. LEO are also exposed to elevated crash injury risk, which may be exacerbated by a compromise in the performance of the occupant restraint systems due to body-borne equipment. A pilot study was conducted to demonstrate the application of three-dimensional anthropometric scanning and measurement technology to address critical concerns related to vehicle design. Detailed posture and belt fit data were gathered from five law enforcement officers as they sat in the patrol vehicles that they regularly used and in a mockup of a mid-sized vehicle.
Technical Paper

Development, Evaluation, and Sensitivity Analysis of Parametric Finite Element Whole-Body Human Models in Side Impacts

Occupant stature and body shape may have significant effects on injury risks in motor vehicle crashes, but the current finite element (FE) human body models (HBMs) only represent occupants with a few sizes and shapes. Our recent studies have demonstrated that, by using a mesh morphing method, parametric FE HBMs can be rapidly developed for representing a diverse population. However, the biofidelity of those models across a wide range of human attributes has not been established. Therefore, the objectives of this study are 1) to evaluate the accuracy of HBMs considering subject-specific geometry information, and 2) to apply the parametric HBMs in a sensitivity analysis for identifying the specific parameters affecting body responses in side impact conditions. Four side-impact tests with two male post-mortem human subjects (PMHSs) were selected to evaluate the accuracy of the geometry and impact responses of the morphed HBMs.
Technical Paper

Response and Tolerance of Female and/or Elderly PMHS to Lateral Impact

Eight whole fresh-frozen cadavers (6 female, 2 male) that were elderly and/or female were laterally impacted using UMTRI's dual-sled side-impact test facility. Cadavers were not excluded on the basis of old age or bone diseases that affect tolerance. A thinly padded, multi-segment impactor was used that independently measured force histories applied to the shoulder, thorax, abdomen, greater trochanter, iliac wing, and femur of each PMHS. Impactor plates were adjusted vertically and laterally toward the subject so that contact with body regions occurred simultaneously and so that each segment contacted the same region on every subject. This configuration minimized the effects of body shape on load sharing between regions. Prior to all tests, cadavers were CT scanned to check for pre-existing skeletal injuries. Cadavers were excluded if they had pre-existing rib fractures or had undergone CPR.
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.