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Evaluation of the Injury Risks of Truck Occupants Involved in a Crash as a Result of Errant Truck Platoons
ISSN: 2327-5626, e-ISSN: 2327-5634
Published March 11, 2020 by SAE International in United States
Citation: Jin, H., Sharma, R., Meng, Y., Untaroiu, A. et al., "Evaluation of the Injury Risks of Truck Occupants Involved in a Crash as a Result of Errant Truck Platoons," SAE Int. J. Trans. Safety 8(1):5-18, 2020, https://doi.org/10.4271/09-08-01-0001.
Truck platooning comprises a number of trucks equipped with automated lateral and longitudinal vehicle control technology, which allows them to move in tight formation with short following distances. This study is an initial step toward developing an understanding of the occupant injury risks associated with the multiple sequential impacts between truck platoons and roadside safety barriers, regardless of whether the crash is associated with a malfunction of automated control or human operation. Full-scale crash impacts of a tractor-trailer platoon into a concrete bridge guardrail were simulated for a specific Test Level condition according to the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) standards. The model of the bridge barrier was developed based on its drawings, and material properties were assigned according to literature data. The impact simulation of the first impact was validated against a full-scale crash test conducted by the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility (MwRSF) based on resulting vehicle kinematics and then a higher-fidelity truck cabin model including interior structures was used to evaluate the occupant dynamics and associated safety risks during the impact event. The injury risks of the truck occupants were evaluated using Hybrid-III (HIII) and Test device for Human Occupant Restraint (THOR) dummy occupant models representing a 50th percentile male. The occupant risks of injury calculated at body region level or overall showed low injury probabilities for vehicle occupants. The motions of the dummy model and the injury risks results suggested that the three-point seatbelt system employed in this study provided good protection for vehicle occupants in this impact scenario. Simulations with the Finite Element (FE) models developed in this study could help to understand the effectiveness of roadside safety device improvements and the necessity of platooning constraint modifications before utilization of truck platooning.