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Required Measures to Improve the Structural Interaction Potential of Passenger-Cars

Volkswagen AG-Robert Zobel, Thomas Schwarz
Volkswagen AG and RMIT University-Gareth Thomas
Published 2005-04-11 by SAE International in United States
Compatibility has been a passive safety research issue for many years. Great advancements in secondary (passive) safety have been achieved in the last decades through focussing on the self-protection level provided by passenger cars. The next step is to consider the other vehicle involved in the collision as well. Compatibility relates to the simultaneous improvement of both self- and partner- protection. Several tests procedures have been proposed around the world to assess the compatibility of passenger cars. None are considered ready to be implemented.This paper shows that controlling vehicle front-end geometry is the most feasible step to improve both self- and partner-protection. Through this, an increase in the structural interaction potential offered by passenger cars would result. To improve structural interaction, a convergence of front-end structures, to within certain vertical limits, is necessary. The required vertical width of a structural interaction zone is investigated in this paper, based on results to car-to-car, head-on crash-test simulations.Based on conclusions drawn from the car-to-car, head-on crash simulations, a new compatibility assessment method and a vertical width for a…
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Feasible Steps towards Improved Crash Compatibility

Volkswagen AG-Dietmar Haenchen, Thomas Schwarz, Gareth Thomas, Robert Zobel
Published 2004-03-08 by SAE International in United States
Compatibility has been a research issue for many years now. It has gained more importance recently due to significant improvements in primary and secondary safety. Using a rigorous approach, combining accident research and theoretical scientific considerations, measures to improve vehicle-vehicle compatibility, with an emphasis on feasibility, were discussed.German accident research statistics showed that frontal impacts are of higher statistical significance than side impacts. Based on this and the high potential for improvement due high available deformation energy, the frontal impact configuration was identified as the most appropriate collision mode for addressing the compatibility issue. In side impacts, accident avoidance was identified as the most feasible and sensible measure.For frontal vehicle-vehicle impacts, both trucks and passenger cars were identified as opponents of high statistical significance. Based on the bulkhead concept, a theoretical range of survivable collision velocities for both impact configurations was calculated and the limitations discussed. A pre-requisite in each case was structural interaction. Structural interaction was identified as necessary between all collision partners including car - truck. This means the addition of adequate under-run…
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Improvement of Compatibility of Passenger Vehicles~Next feasible steps

Volkswagen AG-Robert Zobel, Thomas Schwarz
  • Technical Paper
  • 2003-06-0097
Published 2003-05-19 by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in United States
Compatibility has been a research issue for more than three decades now. To improve vehicle safety two viewpoints have to be considered: Self-protection, the ability of a vehicle to protect its own occupants, both in vehicle-to-vehicle accidents and against other objects in the traffic environment; and Partner-protection, the ability of a vehicle to protect the occupants of the opponent vehicle in vehicle- to-vehicle crashes.Compatibility aims to ensure a compromise between self-protection and partner-protection. Partner-protection is often referred to as low aggressiveness towards other traffic participants. It has gained more importance recently due to significant improvements in primary and secondary safety.The first goal remains to prevent accidents by measures of primary safety. Significant improvements have already been achieved in the last few years. Electronic Stability Program (ESP), for example, has a significant influence, particularly in the reduction of single vehicle accidents. It will be much more difficult to prevent vehicle-to-vehicle collisions by primary safety measures.The Compatibility of a vehicle is understood as a combination of self- and partner protection in such a way that optimum overall…

DEVELOPMENT OF CRITERIA AND STANDARDS FOR VEHICLE COMPATIBILITY

Volkswagen AG, Germany-Robert Zobel, Thomas Schwarz
  • Technical Paper
  • 2001-06-0060
Published 2001-06-04 by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in United States
This paper summarises the results of a project on vehicle crash compatibility, run by European automotive industry together with some research institutes. The project was funded by the European commission as BE97-4049.There are three main issues that can be detected in real world accidents, influencing vehicle compatibility. These issues are mass differences, compartment integrity with regard to frontal car-to-car impact, and differences in bumper and sill height in side impact. Longitudinal mismatch in frontal impact, front end stiffness and other items which are from a theoretical point of view responsible for vehicle aggressiveness are not seen influential from the view point of real world accidents.On the other hand, compartment collapse occurs, when there is not sufficient deformation energy available in vehicle front-end. And deformation energy is available, when it is provided by vehicle structures and when these structures interact. So compartment collapse can only be avoided, as long as sufficient deformation energy is available and is effective within the car-to-car collision.So the paper will provide results with regard to the questions of deformation management. It…