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Side Crash Protection Improvements Through the Use of an Active Door System

The improvements in frontal crash safety registered in the last decade have been considerable, however, these improvements could only be partially transferred to the area of side crash. This accounts for part of the reasons why this type of accident became more relevant in the mortality accident statistics during the past few years. Automotive vehicle occupant protection in side and frontal crashes are problems of a different nature, as the available crush space for occupant acceleration / deceleration is quite different in the two scenarios. This paper presents an innovative pre-crash side impact protection concept based on the use of an active door which addresses this problem. Through the deployment of an outside airbag the acceleration and velocity intrusion profiles of the struck vehicle are changed in a way that enables the better use of the available interior space for a more efficient protection of the occupants. Numerical simulation using LS-Dyna and Madymo coupled analysis was performed in order to design the active door components, to adjust the complete side crash restraint system to the newly acquired protection potential and to quantify the level of safety improvement offered to the driver of a small vehicle. The work presented here concentrates on the IIHS side impact scenario for which the active door system brings significant improvements in the dummy thorax injury criteria.

application/pdf D-II-02.pdf — 1.5 MB