This study observed volunteer passengers experiencing unexpected abrupt evasive maneuvers, including hard braking and swerving. Our goal was to understand passenger responses to abrupt vehicle maneuvers, to inform the development of onboard safety systems.
Abrupt vehicle maneuvers that occur before a crash can affect occupant postures, and in turn may influence the response of occupant safety systems. These include advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) or automated driving systems (ADS). Previous research suggests that participant awareness affects the magnitude of responses however, this has not been studied with a large sample size, or investigated among a wide variety of participants.
Can passenger response to evasive maneuvers be modeled in order to enhance future vehicle restraint systems?
Based on video review of facial reactions, nearly all participants were surprised by the first maximal braking event. The study measured the excursion of the estimated head center of gravity (CG) in order to approximate passenger response to both braking and lane change events, factoring in vehicle motion, age, height, weight and gender. They found that passenger posture could not be accurately predicted from the data collected.
The conclusion from these results is that consideration of posture for future crash injury protection may require direct occupant posture state detection.
This project is in collaboration with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.