Against the background of an always growing traffic volume on the roads and the thereby resulting aim to reduce the number of traffic fatalities continuously, the recent years saw a number of research projects and field studies.
As a result of this, legal tests and consumer requirements have been significantly tightened. Consequently, car manufacturers and suppliers are faced with completely new challenges as to the adaptation of occupant restraint systems. Here, socalled “smart” restraint systems gained more and more importance.
The US-NCAP requirements for the MY 2010, adopted by NHTSA in 2008, are a new milestone for the improvement of occupant protection. For the minimization of the total injury risk in frontal impacts, the protection criteria for head (HIC), neck (Nij), and thorax (chest deflection) are under special consideration.
With regard to the new requirements, it seems to be quite challenging to achieve a very good rating in frontal crash tests by standard restraint systems, especially when different dummy sizes and the legal requirements according to FMVSS 208 have to be considered.
The present study shall demonstrate which potential adaptive airbag and seat belt technologies can possess. Thus, the performance of different concepts of adaptive airbag techniques, knee bags, double pretensioning systems and adaptive force limiter are compared. Following, an evaluation of the different concepts as to their efficiency and benefits in terms of critical injury criteria will be made. Finally, a survey is given on how the consequent use of adaptive restraint systems can address the future requirements (law, ratings).