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Technical Paper

Variability of Hybrid III Clearance Dimensions within the FMVSS 208 and NCAP Vehicle Test Fleets and the Effects of Clearance Dimensions on Dummy Impact Responses

1995-11-01
952710
Locations of key body segments of Hybrid III dummies used in FMVSS 208 compliance tests and NCAP tests were measured and subjected to statistical analysis. Mean clearance dimensions and their standard deviations for selected body segments of driver and passenger occupants with respect to selected vehicle surfaces were determined for several classes of vehicles. These occupant locations were then investigated for correlation with impact responses measured in crash tests and by using a three dimensional human-dummy mathematical model in comparable settings. Based on these data, the importance of some of the clearance dimensions between the dummy and the vehicle surfaces was determined. The study also compares observed Hybrid III dummy positions within selected vehicles with real world occupant positions reported in published literature.
Technical Paper

Upper Neck Response of the Belt and Air Bag Restrained 50th Percentile Hybrid III Dummy in the USA's New Car Assessment Program

1998-11-02
983164
Since 1994, the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has compiled upper neck loads for the belt and air bag restrained 50th percentile male Hybrid III dummy. Over five years from 1994 to 1998, in frontal crash tests, NCAP collected upper neck data for 118 passenger cars and seventy-eight light trucks and vans. This paper examines these data and attempts to assess the potential for neck injury based on injury criteria included in FMVSS No. 208 (for the optional sled test). The paper examines the extent of serious neck injury in real world crashes as reported in the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS). The results suggest that serious neck injuries do occur at higher speeds for crashes involving occupants restrained by belts in passenger cars.
Technical Paper

The New Car Assessment Program:Five Star Rating System and Vehicle Safety Performance Characteristics

1995-02-01
950888
In the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), beginning with the model year 1994 vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed and adopted a simplified nonnumeric format for presenting the comparative frontal crashworthiness safety information to consumers. This paper presents the basis for the development of this “star rating” system. The injury probability functions which are used for the star rating system are also applied to the results of the recent NCAP real-world correlation studies and a review of these studies is given. The safety performance for restrained occupants as measured in NCAP is dependent on several parameters which include: the design of the restraint system, the maintenance of the integrity of the occupant space, and the energy management performance of the front structure.
Technical Paper

The New Car Assessment Program Has It Led to Stiffer Light Trucks and Vans over the Years?

1999-03-01
1999-01-0064
Since model year 1983, one hundred and seventy five light trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles (LTVs) have been included in the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) frontal crash tests. In this frontal test, vehicles are crashed at 35 mph such that the entire front impacts against a rigid, fixed barrier. Instrumented anthropometric dummies are placed in the driver and right front passenger seats. Accelerometers are placed on the vehicle to record the response of the structure during the crash. A number of recent papers have examined the compatibility of LTVs and cars in vehicle-to-vehicle collisions. The studies in these papers, generally, consider three factors for vehicle-to-vehicle compatibility: (1) mass, (2) stiffness, and (3) geometry. On June 5, 1998, Transport Canada and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration held a forum entitled “Transport-NHTSA International Dialogue on Vehicle Compatibility,” in Windsor, Canada.
Technical Paper

Simulator Study of Heavy Truck Air Disc Brake Effectiveness During Emergency Braking

2008-04-14
2008-01-1498
In crashes between heavy trucks and light vehicles, most of the fatalities are the occupants of the light vehicle. A reduction in heavy truck stopping distance should lead to a reduction in the number of crashes, the severity of crashes, and consequently the numbers of fatalities and injuries. This study made use of the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS). NADS is a full immersion driving simulator used to study driver behavior as well as driver-vehicle reactions and responses. The vehicle dynamics model of the existing heavy truck on NADS had been modified with the creation of two additional brake models. The first was a modified S-cam (larger drums and shoes) and the second was an air-actuated disc brake system. A sample of 108 CDL-licensed drivers was split evenly among the simulations using each of the three braking systems. The drivers were presented with four different emergency stopping situations.
Technical Paper

Simulations of large school bus safety restraints~NHTSA

2001-06-04
2001-06-0226
This paper describes computer crash simulations performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) under the current research and testing activities on large school bus safety restraints. The simulations of a frontal rigid barrier test and comparative dynamic sled testing for compartmentalization, lap belt, and lap/shoulder belt restraint strategies are presented. School bus transportation is one of the safest forms of transportation in the United States. School age children transported in school buses are safer than children transported in motor vehicles of any other type. Large school buses provide protection because of their size and weight. Further, they must meet minimum Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSSs) mandating compartmentalized seating, improved emergency exits, stronger roof structures and fuel systems, and better bus body joint strength.
Technical Paper

Reverse Engineering Method for Developing Passenger Vehicle Finite Element Models

1999-03-01
1999-01-0083
A methodology to develop full-vehicle representation in the form of a finite element model for crashworthiness studies has been evolved. Detailed finite element models of two passenger vehicles - 1995 Chevy Lumina and 1994 Dodge Intrepid have been created. The models are intended for studying the vehicle’s behavior in full frontal, frontal offset and side impact collisions. These models are suitable for evaluating vehicle performance and occupant safety in a wide variety of impact situations, and are also suitable for part and material substitution studies to support PNGV (Partnership for New Generation of Vehicles) research. The geometry for these models was created by careful scanning and digitizing of the entire vehicle. High degree of detail is captured in the BIW, the front-end components and other areas involved in frontal, frontal offset and side impact on the driver’s side.
Technical Paper

Restraint Robustness in Frontal Crashes

2007-04-16
2007-01-1181
The protection of a vehicle occupant in a frontal crash is a combination of vehicle front structural design and occupant restraint design. Once chosen and manufactured, these design features must interact with a wide variety of structural characteristics in potential crash partners. If robust, the restraint design will provide a high level of protection for a wide variety of crash conditions. This paper examines how robust a given restraint system is for occupant self-protection and how frontal design can improve the restraint performance of potential crash partners, thus improving their restraint robustness as well. To examine restraint robustness in self protection, the effect of various vehicle deceleration characteristics on occupant injury potential is investigated for a given restraint design. A MADYMO model of a 1996 Taurus interior and its restraint system with a Hybrid III 50th percentile male dummy are simulated and subjected to 650 crash pulses taken during 25 years of U.S.
Technical Paper

Parameter Determination and Vehicle Dynamics Modeling for the NADS of the 1998 Chevrolet Malibu

2001-03-05
2001-01-0140
The paper discusses the development of a model for a 1998 Chevrolet Malibu for the National Advanced Driving Simulator’s (NADS) vehicle dynamics simulation, NADSdyna. The Malibu is the third vehicle modeled for the NADS, and this is the third paper dealing with model development. SAE Paper 970564 contains details of the model for the 1994 Ford Taurus and SAE Paper 1999–01-0121 contains details of the model for the 1997 Jeep Cherokee. The front and rear suspensions are independent strut and link type suspensions modeled using recursive rigid body dynamics formulations. The suspension springs and shock absorbers are modeled as elements in the rigid body formulation. To complement the vehicle dynamics for the NADS application, subsystem models that include tire forces, braking, powertrain, aerodynamics, and steering are added to the rigid body dynamics model. The models provide state-of-the-art high fidelity vehicle handling dynamics for real-time simulation.
Technical Paper

Parameter Determination and Vehicle Dynamics Modeling for The National Advanced Driving Simulator of the 2006 BMW 330i

2007-04-16
2007-01-0818
The paper discusses the development of a model for the 2006 BMW 330i for the National Advanced Driving Simulator's (NADS) vehicle dynamics simulation, NADSdyna. The front and rear suspensions are independent strut and link type suspensions modeled using recursive rigid-body dynamics formulations. The suspension springs and shock absorbers are modeled as force elements. The paper includes parameters for front and rear semi-empirical tire models used with NADSdyna. Longitudinal and lateral tire force plots are also included. The NADSdyna model provides state-of-the-art high-fidelity handling dynamics for real-time hardware-in-the-loop simulation. The realism of a particular model depends heavily on how the parameters are obtained from the actual physical system. Complex models do not guarantee high fidelity if the parameters used were not properly measured. Methodologies for determining the parameters are detailed in this paper.
Technical Paper

Occupant Injury Patterns in Crashes with Airbag Equipped Government Sponsored Cars

1987-11-01
872216
In 1983, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) initiated two air hag vehicle fleet programs. The objective was to demonstrate that both original equipment and retrofit air bag systems operate in vehicles as intended. As of July 1, 1987, the two fleets together have accumulated over 200 million miles. Data are presented for 112 crashes involving air bag deployment in these government sponsored fleet vehicles in service between 1984 and July 1, 1987. Of the 112 drivers involved in the crashes, 103 sustained either no injury or only minor (AIS 1)[1]1 injuries. Of the nine remaining cases, six were AIS 2 and three AIS 3. To date, the limited data indicate that the air bag deployed as expected in all frontal crashes severe enough to require occupant restraint beyond that provided by the vehicle interior. Additionally, in collisions in which the air bag did not deploy, the crashes were of such low severity that no actuation was expected and none took place.
Technical Paper

NHTSA’s Vehicle Compatibility Research Program

1999-03-01
1999-01-0071
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is conducting a research program to investigate the crash compatibility of passenger cars, light trucks and vans (LTV’s) in vehicle-to-vehicle collisions. NHTSA has conducted a series of eight full-scale vehicle-to-vehicle crash tests to evaluate vehicle compatibility issues. Tests were conducted using four bullet vehicles representing different vehicle classes striking a mid-size sedan in both side and oblique frontal crash configurations. The test results show a good correlation between vehicle aggressivity metrics and injury parameters measured in the struck car for the frontal offset tests, but not for the side impact tests.
Technical Paper

NHTSA'S research program for vehicle aggressivity and fleet compatibility

2001-06-04
2001-06-0179
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

NHTSA'S crashworthiness modelling activities

2001-06-04
2001-06-0178
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

Methodology for Validating the National Advanced Driving Simulator's Vehicle Dynamics (NADSdyna)

1997-02-24
970562
This paper presents an overview of work performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Vehicle Research and Test Center (VRTC) to test, validate, and improve the planned National Advanced Driving Simulator's (NADS) vehicle dynamics simulation. This vehicle dynamics simulation, called NADSdyna, was developed by the University of Iowa's Center for Computer-Aided Design (CCAD) NADSdyna is based upon CCAD's general purpose, real-time, multi-body dynamics software, referred to as the Real-Time Recursive Dynamics (RTRD), supplemented by vehicle dynamics specific submodules VRTC has “beta tested” NADSdyna, making certain that the software both works as computer code and that it correctly models vehicle dynamics. This paper gives an overview of VRTC's beta test work with NADSdyna. The paper explains the methodology used by VRTC to validate NADSdyna.
Technical Paper

Large truck crash data collection

2001-06-04
2001-06-0159
The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) is collecting crash data relating to large trucks. Two data collection programs are specified. One is a crash causation study to investigate the cause of fatal and serious large truck crashes over two years. The other study is a continuous effort collecting data on large truck motor carrier crashes in each state, as coded on police accident reports.
Technical Paper

Large school bus safety restraint evaluation

2001-06-04
2001-06-0158
This paper describes ongoing research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to evaluate the potential of safety restraints on large school buses. School bus transportation is one of the safest forms of transportation in the United States. Large school buses provide protection because of their visibility, size, and weight, as compared to other types of motor vehicles. Additionally, they are required to meet minimum Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) mandating compartmentalized seating, emergency exits, roof crush and fuel system integrity, and minimum bus body joint strength.
Technical Paper

Improving Occupant Protection Systems in Frontal Crashes

1996-02-01
960665
In the United States, air bags will be required in all passenger cars and light trucks under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, Occupant Crash Protection. Even after full implementation of driver and passenger air bags as required by FMVSS No. 208, frontal impacts will still account for up to 8,000 fatalities and 120,000 moderate to critical injuries (i.e., injuries of AIS ≥ 2) [1]. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has an ongoing research program to address these fatalities and injuries and provide a basis for the possible future upgrade of FMVSS No. 208. This effort includes developing supplementary test procedures for the evaluation of occupant injury in higher severity crashes, developing improved injury criteria including criteria for assessing injuries to additional body regions, and evaluating the injuries associated with occupant size [2, 3 and 4].
Technical Paper

Hardware Evaluation of Heavy Truck Side and Rear Object Detection Systems

1995-02-01
951010
This paper focuses on two types of electronics-based object detection systems for heavy truck applications: those sensing the presence of objects to the rear of the vehicle, and those sensing the presence of objects on the right side of the vehicle. The rearward sensing systems are intended to aid drivers when backing their vehicles, typically at very low “crawl” speeds. Six rear object detection systems that were commercially available at the time that this study was initiated were evaluated. The right side looking systems are intended primarily as supplements to side view mirror systems and as an aid for detecting the presence of adjacent vehicles when making lane changes or merging maneuvers. Four side systems, two commercially available systems and two prototypes, were evaluated.
Technical Paper

Foundations and elements of the NHTSA Thor ALPHA ATD design

2001-06-04
2001-06-0107
Early influences upon Thor ATD development are described, and the path of Thor development is traced up to the release of the current Thor ALPHA ATD design. Since the display of the first Thor ATD prototype at the 15th ESV Conference in Melbourne in 1996, Thor has undergone extensive test and evaluation on an international basis in cooperation with many partner institutions. This paper summarizes some of the lessons learned from this broad test experience, and documents actions which have been undertaken to upgrade the Thor product to ALPHA status in light of this experience.
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