Frontal collisions produce the highest frequency in fatalities and injuries in road accidents, the costs to the European Society alone being more than €160 billion each year. Even though the European Frontal Directive became effective only in 1998, further research is required to better assess the protection offered to car occupants in frontal impacts. An important motive for this is found in the current Hybrid-III crash test dummy that has shown important deficiencies in human likeness and injury assessment capabilities.
The Improved Frontal Impact Protection through a World Frontal Impact Dummy (FID) project aimed to contribute to a further reduction of the amount of injuries and fatalities in frontal collisions. The most important achievement of the project is the introduction of an improved a frontal impact crash test dummy with realistic movements and injury indicating measurements for future automotive crash testing. The FID consortium has defined the requirements for an advanced frontal impact dummy based on new biomechanical and accident investigations and has recommended a design that meets the demands in terms of biofidelity, anthropometry, durability and injury assessment capabilities. The FID consortium existed of six experienced and multidisciplinary partners from the UK, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. An important dimension within the project was that of harmonisation of safety regulations world-wide and in particular between Europe and the United States.
The objectives defined for each work package within the project are defined below:
WP1 - Accident studies:
- To prioritise the injuries for different body segments during frontal impacts;
- List injury types for use in identifying dummy performance/instrumentation needs for subsequent tasks of the project;
- Assess the differences in injuries that can be attributed to the airbag, the seat-belt system, and the internal vehicle structures distinguished between vehicles of modern design in comparison to older vehicles.
WP2 - Biomechanical data:
The objective of WP2 to obtain new biomechanical data on the behaviour of the human body under frontal impact conditions in order:
- To quantify the response to impact of shoulder/thorax complex, pelvis/femur and foot/ankle complex;
- To better understand the injury mechanisms.
WP3 - Dummy requirements:
- Definition of the biofidelity performance requirements for evaluation of frontal impact crash dummies;
- Definition of anthropometry requirements for evaluation of frontal impact crash dummies;
- Review of current injury assessment values;
- Definition of requirements for evaluation of the durability, repeatability, instrumentation of frontal impact dummies.
WP4 - Dummy evaluation:
- To evaluate existing dummies (Hybrid-III and THOR-Alpha) in terms of biofidelity, repeatability, durability, sensitivity and kinematics, with respect to the requirements defined for a frontal impact dummy in WP 3;
- The performance of the whole dummy and its individual body parts will be evaluated experimentally in both component and sled based tests.
- To define areas of design that need modification will be identified for development in WP 5.
WP5 - Dummy development:
- To develop and update version of multibody model THOR developed within the ADRIA project;
- To design, develop and manufacture improved prototype dummy parts, systems and/or body regions;
- Develop and verify feasibility of enhanced dummy parts.
The results identified of the FID project as defined in the Technical Implementation Plan are:
1. Identification of the principal occupant injuries in frontal impact car crashes and the injuries for which a legislative frontal impact dummy should have the capability to measure injury risk.
Owners: BASt and TRL
2. New biomechanical data concerning the behaviour of the human thorax/shoulder, pelvis/femur/knee and the lower leg during frontal impacts.
Owners: INRETS, UPM, UoH, TNO and TRL
3. Set of requirements for frontal impact dummies, consisting of biofidelity requirements for all important body parts, repeatability, durability and anthropometry requirements based on the most recent biomechanical data.
Owners: TNO, BASt, INRETS, UPM, UoH and TRL
4. Review and revise (where appropriate) injury assessment values for a legislative frontal impact
dummy, with special focus on the lower leg.
Owners: TNO and TRL
5. A prototype instrumented frontal impact dummy (THOR-FT), based on the THOR-Alpha design, 50th percentile male. Suitable for inclusion in the Frontal Directive as successor of the Hybrid-III dummy.
Owners: BASt, UPM, TNO and TRL. With the IPR at TNO
6. A computer model of the THOR-Alpha
Owners: UPM, TNO and TRL. With the IPR at UPM and TNO
All these results are of category "A" that means "results usable outside the consortium".