The relationship between designing for both rigid fixed barrier (RFB) and vehicle-to-vehicle tests is a topical area of research. Specifically, vehicle-tovehicle compatibility has been a topic of keen interest to many researchers, and the interplay between the two aspects of design is presently addressed.
In this paper, the studied vehicles for potential vehicle-to-vehicle impacts included: sport utility vehicles (SUVs), Pickups (PUs), and passenger cars. The SUV/PU-to-Car frontal impact tests were compared to those obtained from vehicle-to-rigid fixed barrier frontal impacts. Acceleration pulses at the B-pillar/rocker as well as dash and cabin intrusions were monitored and compared. Additionally, the energy distributions in SUV/PU-to- Car crash tests were compared to those of single vehicle-to-RFB tests.
It was concluded from the analysis that vehicle weight and front-end stiffness were not always the overriding factors dictating performance. Design alternatives that have positive impact on the distribution of energy on both vehicles involved in a crash were shown to provide improvement in vehicle compatibility. In the present work, it was also shown that good geometrical interaction in SUV/PU-to-Car impact was fundamental in providing self and partner risk-reducing potential. Moreover, the effect of geometry was shown to possibly mask the effects of mass and stiffness.