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What Variables Should Intelligent Restraint Systems Address
Published June 21, 1995 by Societe des Ingenieurs de l'Automobile in France
This paper only attempts to outline in conceptual form some of the issues which need to be addressed in advancing from today's seat belts and airbags towards some form of intelligent restraint system. Of fundamental importance is to recognize the population issues of size, sitting position, biomechanical variation and changing crash exposures. Beyond these issues lies a larger amount of challenging research and development to actually produce the sensors and hardware to provide variability in a seat belt and airbag system. Proximity sensing has its advocates, and if radar techniques could actually discriminate an impending collision from a near miss or a passing object, then the provision of say 500 milliseconds warning would alter many of the restraint issues reviewed in this paper. However, the basic premise remains; the next generation of restraints must change from having single fixed characteristics towards variable ones which recognize the real-world population variables of weight, sitting position, biomechanical tolerance and crash exposure