Objective: To study the potential of active, passive, and integrated (combined active and passive) safety systems in reducing pedestrian upper body loading in typical impact configurations.
Methods: Finite element simulations using models of generic sedan car fronts and the Polar II pedestrian dummy were performed for 3 impact configurations at 2 impact speeds. Chest contact force, head injury criterion (HIC15), head angular acceleration, and the cumulative strain damage measure (CSDM0.25) were employed as injury parameters. Further, 3 countermeasures were modeled: an active autonomous braking system, a passive deployable countermeasure, and an integrated system combining the active and passive systems. The auto-brake system was modeled by reducing impact speed by 10 km/h (equivalent to ideal full braking over 0.3 s) and introducing a pitch of 1 degree and in-crash deceleration of 1 g. The deployable system consisted of a deployable hood, lifting 100 mm in the rear, and a lower windshield air bag.
Results: All 3 countermeasures showed benefit in a majority of impact configurations in terms of injury prevention. The auto-brake system reduced chest force in a majority of the configurations and decreased HIC15, head angular acceleration, and CSDM in all configurations. Averaging all impact configurations, the auto-brake system showed reductions of injury predictors from 20 percent (chest force) to 82 percent (HIC). The passive deployable countermeasure reduced chest force and HIC15 in a majority of configurations and head angular acceleration and CSDM in all configurations, although the CSDM decrease in 2 configurations was minimal. On average a reduction from 20 percent (CSDM) to 58 percent (HIC) was recorded in the passive deployable countermeasures. Finally, the integrated system evaluated in this study reduced all injury assessment parameters in all configurations compared to the reference situations. The average reductions achieved by the integrated system ranged from 56 percent (CSDM) to 85 percent (HIC).
Conclusions: Both the active (autonomous braking) and passive deployable system studied had a potential to decrease pedestrian upper body loading. An integrated pedestrian safety system combining the active and passive systems increased the potential of the individual systems in reducing pedestrian head and chest loading.