Occupant Pre-Crash Kinematics in Rotated Seat Arrangements

Alexander Diederich, Christophe Bastien, Karthikeyan Ekambaram, Alexis Wilson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)
    157 Downloads (Pure)


    The introduction of automated L5 driving technologies will revolutionise the design of vehicle interiors and seating configurations, improving occupant comfort and experience. It is foreseen that pre-crash emergency braking and swerving manoeuvres will affect occupant posture, which could lead to an interaction with a deploying airbag. This research addresses the urgent safety need of defining the occupant’s kinematics envelope during that pre-crash phase, considering rotated seat arrangements and different seatbelt configurations. The research used two different sets of volunteer tests experiencing L5 vehicle manoeuvres, based in the first instance on 22 50th percentile fit males wearing a lap-belt (OM4IS), while the other dataset is based on 87 volunteers with a BMI range of 19 to 67kg/m² wearing a 3-point belt (UMTRI). Unique biomechanics kinematics corridors were then defined, as a function of belt configuration and vehicle manoeuvre, to calibrate an Active Human Model (AHM) using a multi-objective optimisation coupled with a Correlation and Analysis (CORA) rating. The research improved the AHM omnidirectional kinematics response over current state of the art in a generic lap-belted environment. The AHM was then tested in a rotated seating arrangement under extreme braking, highlighting that maximum lateral and frontal motions are comparable, independent of the belt system, while the asymmetry of the 3-point belt increased the occupant’s motion towards the seatbelt buckle. It was observed that the frontal occupant kinematics decrease by 200mm compared to a lap-belted configuration. This improved omnidirectional AHM is the first step towards designing safer future L5 vehicle interiors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2818-2842
    Number of pages25
    JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering
    Issue number10-11
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021

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    • Occupant envelope
    • active human model
    • automated driving
    • out-of-position
    • pre-crash kinematics
    • rotated seating

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Aerospace Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering


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