Crashworthy structures for future vehicle architecture of autonomous pods and heavy quadricycles on public roads: A review

Andrew Harrison, Jesper Christensen, Christophe Bastien, Stratis Kanarachos

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)
    385 Downloads (Pure)


    With the development and deployment of lightweight vehicles to the market, inclusive of autonomous pods, a review of advanced crashworthy structures and the design methodology has been conducted as it is thought that super-lightweight vehicles may pose significant risk to the occupants if they are involved in a crash. It is suggested that tests should include oblique and multiple velocity impacts to cater for the effects of assisted driving systems of future vehicles. A review of current crash structures and design methodologies revealed that the most recent research do not cater to multiple crash scenarios, nor a shorter crush allowance, therefore resulting in poor crashworthiness performance. In addition, the arbitrary seat positioning shown in autonomous pods’ concepts vastly increases the risk to occupants. Greater enhancements to passive crashworthiness are imperative. To this end, functionally graded vehicle structures should be designed as it has been found that these can provide optimized solutions. Research into nonlinear optimization methods for computationally expensive problems will become central to this.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3-16
    Number of pages14
    JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering
    Issue number1
    Early online date10 Apr 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © IMechE 2019.

    Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


    • autonomous vehicles
    • Crashworthiness
    • energy absorbing
    • heavy quadricycle
    • optimization
    • super-lightweight

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Aerospace Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering


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