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Technical Paper

NHTSA'S crashworthiness modelling activities

NHTSA uses a variety of computer modelling techniques to develop and evaluate test methods and mitigation concepts, and to estimate safety benefits for many of NHTSA's research activities. Computer modeling has been particularly beneficial for estimating safety benefits where often very little data are available. Also modeling allows researchers to augment test data by simulating crashes over a wider range of conditions than would otherwise be feasible. These capabilities are used for a wide range of projects from school bus to frontal, side, and rollover research programs. This paper provides an overview of these activities. NHTSA's most extensive modeling research involves developing finite element and articulated mass models to evaluate a range of vehicles and crash environments. These models are being used to develop a fleet wide systems model for evaluating compatibility issues.
Technical Paper

NHTSA'S research program for vehicle aggressivity and fleet compatibility

This paper presents an overview of NHTSA's vehicle aggressivity and fleet compatibility research activities. This research program is being conducted in close cooperation with the International Harmonized Research Agenda (IHRA) compatibility research group. NHTSA is monitoring the changing vehicle mix in the U.S. fleet, analyzing crash statistics, and evaluating any implications that these changes may have for U.S. occupant safety. NHTSA is also continuing full-scale crash testing to develop a better understanding of vehicle compatibility and to investigate test methods to assess vehicle compatibility.
Technical Paper

Simulation of a Car Frontal Offset Impact Into a Fixed Deformable Barrier

This paper presents results from an analytical simulation to evaluate the crashworthiness of the Ford Taurus automobile in a frontal offset collision into the fixed European Experimental Vehicles Committee deformable barrier. A finite element model of this carrier was developed for the simulation studies, and merged with an existing finite element model of the Taurus automobile. A frontal impact with 40% offset was simulated at 40 mph using the nonlinear explicit finite element code LS-DYNA3D. Modeling of the barrier is discussed, and results from the simulation are compared to actual crash test data. Overall, the simulation response matched the test response relatively well. Some deviations between the simulation and test occurred in the vehicle time response and intrusion measurements and are attributed to restriction to a practical computation time to perform the simulation, and the Taurus finite element model being too stiff.