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Challenges in Simulation and Sensor Development for Occupant Protection in Rollover Accidents
Published November 01, 2000 by Convergence Transportation Electronics Association in United States
Automotive occupant safety continues to evolve. At present this area has gathered a strong consumer interest which the vehicle manufacturers are tapping into with the introduction of many new safety technologies.
Initially, individual passive devices and features such as seatbelts, knee- bolsters, structural crush zones, airbags etc., were developed for to help save lives and minimize injuries in accidents. Over the years, preventive measures such as improving visibility, headlights, windshield wipers, tire traction etc., were deployed to help reduce the probability of getting into an accident. With tremendous new research and improvements in electronics, we are at the stage of helping to actively avoid accidents in certain situations as well as providing increased protection to vehicle occupants and pedestrians.
In this paper, we will touch upon the concept of the "safety state diagram,' which encompasses a host of variables or "zones' such as; vehicle motion, occupant-state and accident to post accident states. Highlights include concepts such as pre-crash sensing, anticipatory crash sensing, X-by-wire, advanced safety interiors, and smart safety systems. Also, important to consider are the data networks and vehicle system communications that connect all the safety components to provide a seamless functionality at all stages of vehicle and occupant "zones.'
One aspect of the "Accident Unavoidable Zone' will be discussed in detail as it applies to occupant safety in a rollover situation for example. Emphasis will be placed on developments in sensor technologies, modeling and algorithms being developed to address rollover detection, countermeasure deployment and occupant protection applications.
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